Unicoi County shaves E-National, 4-3

By Travis Brown
STAR STAFF
tbrown@starhq.com

   It took three days to play the game but an end result was finally decided Thursday night, as the Unicoi County 11-12 year-old all-stars took home a 4-3 victory over Elizabethton National at T.J. Burleson Field.
   The first inning saw both squads tear out of the gate looking to get ahead early, and Elizabethton National wasted no time taking the lead.
   Josh Sorah, Benjamin McKinney, C.J. Campbell and Brandon Woods all singled in the top half of the first to manufacture a pair of runs and lead 2-0 going into the home half of the first.
   Erwin was quick to respond however as it struck back with two runs of its own on a Ryan Scott sac fly and an infield single by Matt McCorkle. Both of the Unicoi runs were unearned due to some defensive miscues by E-National.
   Tied up at two apiece, neither team could get on the board in the second inning despite a good effort by Unicoi. Two runners were stranded on the basepaths as Elizabethton National pitcher Blake Hopson got out of the jam with a pop-up to end the threat.
   Unicoi would capitalize, however, in the third inning as one hit and another defensive miscue spelled disaster. Erwin plated two more runs in the frame and led going into the fourth inning, 4-2.
   With two away and a 1-1 count to Lance Reed, the sky opened up and the resulting storm forced the game to be suspended until Thursday night. Elizabethton came back ready to battle but it simply would not be enough.
   The top of the fifth saw a glimmer of hope for Elizabethton. A leadoff bunt single by Justin Peters paid off as he scored two hitters later on a single by Hopson. Now only trailing by a single run, Elizabethton was gaining steam and preparing for the comeback.
   After retiring Unicoi after surrendering only a baserunner, Elizabethton prepared to make a run at the lead.
   Elizabethton's bid for the lead would fall short as the E-town lineup was retired in order.
   Now E-town will look to come out of the losers bracket as the road to a zone championship has taken a temporary detour.