Elizabethton 11s roll past Daniel Boone

By Rebecca Pierson
Assistant Sports Editor

   JOHNSON CITY--The Elizabethton National Little League 11-year-old All-Star team easily defeated Daniel Boone's team with a 14-3 victory on Saturday.
   The Carter County American 11-year-olds also had a sweeping victory at the same time over Unicoi County, 10-0.
   Both hometown teams will meet up for the next round on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Keystone Park in Johnson City. The winner will advance to the district tournament.
   "It is going to be a battle between the Carter Countians, it looks like," Elizabethton manager Richard Sheffield said. "Jake Howell did an excellent job on the mound. We made some good plays in the field and backed him up."
   Howell had a great performance on the mound for Elizabethton with only one walk, eight strikeouts and three perfect innings.
   Daniel Boone's mound struggled throughout the game, using four different pitchers to try and hold down Elizabethton's offense. Jordan Oliver, Travis Keener, Hunter Ford and Austin Rappart had two strikeouts and 12 walks combined.
   That offense came out strong in the top of the first. beginning with Josh Peterson's single out into left center field. C.J. Bowling then rolled a grounder to the shortstop, but Peterson was caught out on second. Stacey Sheffield came up to the plate and was walked.
   Casey Sheffield dropped a hit into left-center field for a double and an RBI. Jake Howell then grounded one to the shortstop for a single and an RBI. From there Seth Fleenor then took his turn at the plate and Casey Sheffield stole home before he could get a hit off. Fleenor ended up with a free pass to first.
   Clayton (Mud) Ray struck out, but Taylor Gouge and Brooks Cochran both got the free pass and brought in another run. Peterson came around again for a single to the shortstop and an RBI.
   While Bowling was at bat, Gouge sneaked in one off a ball for the sixth run, but Bowling's grounder to second got himself out at first.
   The next two and a half frames would be a stalemate, but in the fourth Elizabethton took its lead even further, adding on six more runs in the top of the fourth.
   Daniel Boone's Tyler Britt came out with a single in the bottom of the fourth and Hayden Chandley struck out. However, Taylor Johnson knocked in the first hit for Boone to the center field fence for a double. Britt made it around for the first run of the game. Ethan Good backed that up with a hit to right center for a double and a RBI.
   Hunter Ford then grounded one to the shortstop, Stacey Sheffield. Sheffield made the throw to Casey Sheffield for the out at first, but an error by Brooks Cochran allowed Good to come home for the third and last run. Joey Gray then struck out to end the fourth.
   Elizabethton tacked on two more runs by the Sheffield's in the top of the fifth, but Boone went down with one left on to end the game.
   "I am still very proud of them," Boone coach Brian Ford said of his players. "A loss is a loss. We just didn't win this one. Elizabethton hit the ball really well. What can you say? They had some good hits. All I can say is congratulations to those boys. They did a good job."
   Boone's next game in the tournament will be against Johnson City National on Monday at 8:30.
   "All of our kids hit the ball good," Coach Sheffield said. "We had some come off the bench and hit the ball real well. I am proud of all of them. We are just going to take them one game at a time."