'Betsy 11s edged by Dickson

By Tim Chambers
STAR Staff

  CHARLOTTE, Tenn. -- Who could blame Dickson County if it felt like singing "There's No Place Like Home" in Monday night's game against Elizabethton in the Little League 11-year-old All-Star state tournament?
  Dickson overcame a remarkable rally by the Elizabethton squad to earn a dramatic 5-4 victory in a seven-inning affair.
  The game was a pitchers duel for two innings, then Dickson County tallied a single run in the third.
  Morgan Murphey's single turned into a triple after the ball rolled to the fence for an error. He would later score on a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 Dickson edge.
  Dickson County added three runs in the fourth on a double, a walk and two errors. 'Betsy started its comeback in the fifth when Jake Howell doubled and moved to third on a single by Clayton "Mud" Ray, a single by Josh Peterson and a rocket off the fence by C.J. Bowling accounted for two runs, closing Dickson's lead to 4-2.
  Down to its final inning, Elizabethton rallied again after Casey Sheffield was gunned down trying to stretch a drive off the fence into a double.
  Nick Campbell walked to start the sixth, followed by another free pass to Howell. With two outs, Lucas Birchfield reached on an error that scored Sean Fleenor, who was running for Campbell.
  Taylor "Tater" Gouge then delivered the biggest hit of the game to that point, a solid single that plated Howell to tie the score at 4.
  Only a game-saving play by Chris Swieyada off the bat of Brooks Cochran prevented Elizabethton from taking the lead. Howell would retire Dickson County in order in the sixth to send the game into extra innings.
  After Elizabethton failed to score in the seventh, Codie Bybee lined a double off reliever Peterson to start the inning, and later scored on a wild pitch to give Dickson a hard-fought victory.
  Howell pitched a masterpiece for Elizabethton, allowing only one earned run in six innings of work. He surrendered four hits while striking out six.
  Casey Sheffield had two hits to lead Elizabethton while Peterson, Bowling, Stacey Sheffield, Howell, Ray and Gouge added one hit each.
  "We failed to make some plays in the field and didn't hit the ball until late in the game," said Elizabethton manager Richard Sheffield. "I am very proud of the comeback they made. There is no quit in these kids."
  Elizabethton will play in the losers' bracket today at 6 p.m. (CST) against Manchester American.