Carter County 11s deny Daniel Boone

By Marvin Birchfield

   JOHNSON CITY--The Carter County 11-year-old all-stars kept their tournament hopes alive in Johnson City after defeating Daniel Boone in an 8-5 final on Thursday night.
   After pulling out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning, Carter County was able to hold on with a defensive stand after Daniel Boone made a comeback.
   "I think they thought they had it won after scoring six runs in the first inning, but it's not over until it's the ball game," said Carter County American coach Jerry Pierce. "I have to give it to the whole team, though, for the kind of defensive effort they gave."
   In the bottom of the first, Carter County American scored its first run off a fielder's choice from Jonathan Chapman, driving in Brett Price.
   An error from the pitcher allowed the next run to cross, with Zack Boles coming home, then a walk with bases loaded scored Chapman.
   Tyler Jaynes smacked a fielder's choice to drive in Franky Covarrubias and Dakota Waters, and a following sacrafice fly from Knox Eryasa scored Dan Campbell.
   Daniel Boone slowly crept its way back into the contest, as it kept focused to pull within one run.
   "I think we could have come back, but we just dug ourselves too big of a hole early," said Daniel Boone manager Mark Hodge.
   A nice play on a fielder's choice from J.C. Hunt was fielded by Campbell, who elected to go home to catcher Eryasa for the out.
   The throw from Eryasa back to third hit the base runner, which gave Zack McAfee the opportunity to score Daniel Boone's first run.
   Another run was scored in the top of the third by Dylan Compton, cutting the lead to 6-2, and the momentum continued to swing heading into the fourth frame.
   McAfee led off with a double to center field and would eventually come around to score as a hit from Logan Widner drove him home.
   A shot from Dakota Wilson brought Widner to home plate, then Nate Vance stepped up to crush a double that drove home Compton.
   The lead had shrunk to 6-5 after the fourth frame, but a good defense stand for Carter County in the last two frames detoured Daniel Boone from earning another run.
   Carter County struggled with hitting the ball after the first inning, but in the bottom of the fifth they were able to capture a couple of hits to increase their margin.
   "If there was anything I was disappointed in it was our hitting," said Pierce. "We are going to have to pick it up a notch if we're going to win another ball game."
   Catcher's interference to Waters and an infield base hit by Campbell placed runners on second and third bases.
   Sam Parlier managed to get a single, securing his position on first-base, and an attempt to catch the runner coming home resulted in two runs crossing.
   An error from the catcher allowed Waters and Campbell to score, which put Carter County American up by three runs heading into the final frame.
   "It kind of swung the whole momentum then. We kept on building until we lost it at the end," said Hodge. "Give Carter County credit. They had good pitching and great coaching."
   Daniel Boone tried make a rally in the last frame, after a hard hit ball from Compton to deep in the outfield scored him a double.
   Compton made an attempt to third, but the center fielder, Price, made the throw to second baseman, Covarubias, who quickly tossed it to Campbell for the out.
   "Our pitching has been good so far, and our defense made some plays that I don't think even 12-year-olds would have made," said Pierce.
   Justin Pierce connected on his fifth strikeout of the game to capture the final out of the contest, and Carter County American advanced into the semi-final round.
   "They took the junk away from my pitcher, and he was having to groove it down the pipe, then started junking them again, so they were swinging at any thing he threw," said Pierce.