Riverdogs fall little short in PD Classic

from staff reports

   The Patriot Diamond Classic was just out of the reach of the East Tennessee Riverdogs. The 'Dogs had the Under-15 division in hand but let East Cobb baseball slip past them in the bottom of the final frame by a score of 5-4.
   The Riverdogs nailed Lenior City to the wall and blasted Rutledge's Under-16 team. The Knoxville Stars gave a hard battle until the top of the final frame when the Riverdogs posted 10 runs for a 15-2 win.
   The Riverdogs were rolling until the bottom of the last inning Sunday when they allowed East Cobb to score three runs to go away with the hotly-contested win.
   Dustin Joyner picked up the win against Lenior City while Christian Taylor knocked off Rutledge. A.J. Kirby mowed down the Knoxville Stars and Josh Guinn was the hard luck loser against East Cobb as the Riverdogs left ten men on base.
   The team was led in hitting over the weekend by Kirby with a round tripper. Preston Smith and Zak Messer had a triple a piece as well as other hits. Drew Hyder and Myles Key also had some good hits.
   Cory Hilton came up big on defense while Austin Taylor carried a big load behind the plate, catching each game. Other contributors were Nathan Matthews, Weston Issacs, Logan Bowers and others.
   The team now stands at 12-6 and is the top-ranked USSSA team in East Tennessee having won two tournaments and picking up a second place finish in another. The Riverdogs hold a No. 12 ranking in the national polls and have qualified to play in the USSSA World Series in Kissimmee, Fla.
   Their next stop is the Music City Sizzler in Nashville.