'Betsy tops Smokey, loses to JCA

By Tim Chambers
STAR STAFF
tchambers@starhq.com

   The Elizabethton 15-year-old Jr. Babe Ruth All-Stars stayed alive in a losers' bracket elimination game Saturday afternoon at Roller Field, knocking off the Smokey Mountain All-Stars 12 -2 in a five-inning affair.
   Elizabethton, though, was defeated by Johnson City American 9-8 in nine innings later in the day, ending 'Betsy's season.
   Facing Smokey Mountain, Elizabethton took advantage of two errors in the first inning to score a run.
   Nick McNeal reached on a blunder and later scored on another infield miscue off the bat of Matthew Rasnick. Elizabethton added three runs in the second when Jake Thomas walked and moved to second when the left fielder misjudged a fly ball by Mike Carpenter.
   After Josh Hardin was beaned, Tyler Andes smashed a shot that was too hot for the shortstop to handle, and Nick McNeal added a single to give 'Betsy a 4-0 advantage.
   Scott Burleson was on cruise control for Elizabethton, tossing a no-hitter through three innings. Elizabethton upped the lead at 7-0 in the third when Brandon Medina reached on an error before Thomas was pegged in the booty.
   Burleson was the victim of another bean ball and later scored when Andes grounder got through for yet another error.
   While the Beatles sang "I wanna hold your hand," it was the Smokey Mountain fans that broke loose with the Beatles rendition of "Help, We Need Somebody." The white horse hide kept eluding the Smokey Mountain team, which committed six error in the first three innings.
   Washington County got on the board in the fourth when Aaron Gardner ripped a home run over the left-field wall for a solo home run. Elizabethton struck for four more in the fifth, thanks to bases-loaded triple from Andes that reached the center-field fence.
   Andes later scored on a groundout by McNeal. The boys from 'Betsy ended the game in the sixth after Dylan Shallcross reached on an error and later scored on a double by Thomas.
   Burleson went the distance to earn the win. Andes, McNeal, and Thomas had the only hits for Elizabethton, the beneficiary of nine Smokey Mountain errors.