Carter County American too strong for JC

By Rebecca Pierson
Assistant Sports Editor

   ERWIN--The Carter County American 9-10 year-old All-Star team defeated the Johnson City Major All-Stars in a four-hour, 15-minute, twice rain-delayed game 13-3 on Monday night.
   "It is tough on them playing a bunch of 10-year-olds," Johnson City manager John Davis said about his young team made up of mostly 9-year-olds. "We are pretty much all nines playing against all 10s. It is hard on them but they did well."
   The Carter Countians sent Johnson City three-up, three-down in the first and second innings, and put three runs on the board in the first for a 3-0 lead going into the third.
   Conner Bartow opened up the third for Johnson City with a walk. T.C. Dembowczyk struck out and Luke Stokes knocked one airborne to Cater County's Jordan Banner for the second out.
   Carter Phillips and Jeremy Stein both got the free pass, but Jeff Thompson grounded the ball to second for the easy tag at first.
   Dustin Turbyfill opened the top of the third with a single to the shortstop. Josh Rasnick then had his single open into a double off a bad throw to first. Jacob Hill then came to the plate and Turbyfill sneaked in a run. From there Hill knocked the ball between first and second for an RBI.
   Taylor Edwards then strikes out. Colton Haun would also strike out, but not before another sneaky run by Hill made the score 6-0. Cody Vance would be the third out when his grounder to second made its way to first before he did.
   Then came the two-hour fourth inning. After Jacob Kimbrough got the free pass to first, lightning began for the first delay. Then, after a short wait and a repair of the field, the game was resumed with Tyler Edwards walking. Then Carter County pitcher Jordan Banner walked both Jacob Davis and Bartow and allowed a run.
   From there Dustin Turbyfill relieved Banner with the bases loaded and no outs. Dembowczyk had a single for a RBI. Stokes had his fly caught out by the shortstop, and Landon Martin struck out. Stein was walked for another run and Kimbrough would also strike out, but Davis would sneak home on a ball for the third run.
   With a three-run lead, the rains came again in what should have been a called game. But the officials and the ground-keeping crew at Unicoi wanted to players to have an opportunity to lose the game on the field and not by the weather. So coaches, kids and parents waited nearly three and a half hours past the start time in order to finish the game under regulation.
   Once the field was repaired for the second time, Johnson City couldn't put one on the board and Carter County tallied in five more runs for a 13-3 final.
   "They are coming together," Carter County manager Eric Haun said. "It is hard to get these guys to come together when they haven't played with each other before.
   "They are starting to gel as a team. Finally our bats came alive there at the end. Hopefully we will try and win this bracket. We want to come out with the win."
   Carter County will face off against Elizabethton National tonight at 8:30 in Unicoi.
   "We are looking forward to it," Eric Haun said. "To have all Elizabethton kids going head-to-head in this All-Star tournament and the 11-12 year-old tournament is great. We want to take this thing.
   "Jordan Banner pitched a good few innings. He got in a little trouble and we put Turbyfill in. He got the team out of it and pitched a great inning. That is what it is all about -- teamwork."