Elizabethton, CCA stumble in 9-10 all-stars

By Marvin Birchfield

   MOUNTAIN CITY -- The Elizabethton National All-Stars 9-10 year-olds faced off against Greeneville American in the District 1 Little League tournament on Monday, and came up short by a 17-9 final.
   Elizabethton held its ground until the fourth inning of play, when Greeneville rattled off a total of 11 runs.
   "We got on them early and made some runs and good plays, and then we didn't make the plays on defense when we needed to," said Elizabethton National coach B.J. Guinn.
   Greeneville jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, after a passed ball scored Bryce Cutshaw and a sacrifice fly by Kip Dykes drove in Shawn Martin.
   Elizabethton rebounded to take the lead in the bottom of the second to grab a one-run advantage.
   All three scores came from errors, with Joe Guinn, Jake Howell and Logan Loving crossing the plate.
   Greeneville tied the contest in the top of the third, with a ground single from Ethan Mashburn scored Dykes.
   The fourth frame was crucial for Elizabethton, as finding consistency from the mound ended up in the replacement of two pitchers.
   Ethan Fleenor came in late in the top of the fourth, where he remained for the rest of the night.
   By the time the inning had ended, Greeneville had racked up 11 runs, which gave them an 11-run margin.
   "One inning killed us, but that's Little League, and sometimes it happens," B.J. Guinn said. "I just hate it happened tonight."
   Elizabethton came back to capture two scores in the bottom of the frame, with Drew Chambers scoring after an error by the shortstop, and Chase Depew coming home on a passed ball.
   Elizabethton cut the deficit down to five after the fifth frame. A triple up the middle from Loving drove home Joe Guinn, Jordan Hodges and Michael Hutchins.
   Loving came into score after a wild pitch was thrown, giving spark to a team that once seemed finished.
   Greeneville put the icing on the cake in the final inning, after a three run homer to center field by Dykes scored Eric Davis and Martin.
   This eliminates Elizabethton National from advancing, but there is still a lot to be proud of for its efforts.
   "I'm real proud of them, and they did well by making it to win the zone championship and the district, so you can't take anything away from them," said B.J. Guinn. "I also appreciate all the kids and parents, and thanks for all the effort. It's been a good year."
   Greeneville 11
   C.C. American 1
   This game resulted in one team being able to hit, and the other team having its struggles.
   Greeneville came out in the first frame to open up a 3-0 lead.
   "We got off to a bad start the first inning, and couldn't seem to recover," said Carter County American manager Jerry Pierce. "They jumped on our pitching and never seemed to look back."
   Their first run came from a double by Brook Church to score Elliot Malone.
   Church came across the plate after an error by the shortstop, and Wesley Quarles was walked in.
   Another run was added for Greeneville in the second frame when an error by the third-baseman allowed Church to come home.
   Carter County was finally able to capture a score in the top of the fourth, when Jake Hodge and Josh Peterson both led off with hits. A fielder's choice by Justin Pierce drove home Hodge, but this was all that Carter County could acquire.
   "We just didn't hit the ball. They hit our pitching but we didn't theirs," said Pierce.
   Numerous runs were scored by Greeneville in the bottom of the frame, as seven runs crossed the plate on seven hits, bringing the game to an end with the 10-run rule coming into effect.
   "Seemed like every time we hit it, it went right to the defense, but I think we will do a lot better next time," said Pierce.