E-National rolls by Fairview in Trophy Invite

By Ivan Sanders

Having already qualified for the four-team finals bracket, the pressure was off the Elizabethton National 11-year-old Little League squad entering Thursday night's pool play finale against Fairview.
One couldn't tell by the way the Nationals came out of the gate in blasting Fairview by a 13-0 score in the annual David's Trophies 11-year old Invitational being played at Jim Ensor Field.
Riding the tough pitching of Justin Bailey, who hurled a masterful two-hit shutout, the National team jumped out to an 8-0 advantage after two innings and cruised to the win.
Bailey kept the Fairview team off-stride the entire contest. When the Bristol team did manage to make contact, Bailey's defense smothered any hopes Fairview had by roaming the field with a cat-like prowess.
Jordan Hodges got the ball rolling in the first inning for the Nationals by working Fairview hurler Austin Hale for a walk. Joe Guinn lined a single to place runners in scoring position.
Jacob Davis grounded a fielder's choice to Hale, with Hodges dashing home for the game's first run. An error on a ball hit by Jake Hodge to short opened the door for Guinn to kick in the afterburners and score run number two.
After holding Fairview to nil in the bottom of the inning, the Nationals batted through the order in the top of the second. Cody Hyder opened the frame with a double.
Consecutive walks to Ethan Fleenor and Bailey loaded the bases for Hodges, who delivered a sharp single to score two more National runs.
Davis smashed a double to drive in Hodges and Guinn, who had reached on a fielder's choice eliminating Bailey. On the erroneous throw from center and a subsequent attempt to nab Davis at third, the ball sailed high out of the hand of Fairview catcher Greg Hanson, allowing Davis to trot home.
Jake Hodge stroked another single and swiped second before being plated by Drew Chambers on a single to give the Nationals an 8--0 margin.
Neither team managed much offense in innings three and four, before Elizabethton dented the board for five runs in the top of the fifth.
Big hits highlighted the inning with Chambers and Chase Depew tallying solid doubles, a triple ringing off the bat of Ethan Fleenor, and the biggest shot being a two-run dinger by Hodges for the 13--0 National lead.
Fairview needed to rally quickly to stay in the contest and did manage to break up Bailey's no-hitter with two singles just over first base, but it wasn't enough as the Nationals quickly dashed the minuscule rally.
The Nationals will be in action along with Carter County American, Erwin and either Daniel Boone or Johnson City in the tourney finals slated for Saturday.