Longhorns battled hard into last inning
By Jonathan PleasantThe Johnson County Longhorns put up a strong fight in Bluff City last week, travelling to take on the Sullivan East Patriots. It was a game of highs and lows, as the Longhorns initially came out of the first inning trailing by one run, only to blow past the Patriots in the fourth inning thanks to a string of hits that allowed Johnson County to take home four times.
Unfortunately the Patriots had strong, steady contact on the ball. With three home runs to their credit, including one in the fifth that picked up three runners and gave East back the lead, the Longhorns struggled to bounce back in the last two innings but were unsuccessful. “It was a close game,” said Assistant Coach Nick Perkins. “Sullivan East is a good team. You have to play good baseball for seven innings to beat them. We competed but didn’t play well enough to win. They have a good hitting ball club and we left too many balls over the plate. They make you pay. They hit those home runs and if you don’t hit your spots, they will make you pay.”
Andy Woods pitched the majority of the game for the Longhorns, with Andy Stout coming in to throw the last two innings and landing two strikeouts. Defensively Johnson County had a little trouble keeping East from making gains early on, and as a result the Patriots picked up at least one run in every inning, with the exception of the second.
The biggest sweeps, such as a two run pick up in the sixth, came toward the end of the game, and had more to do with how the Patriots hit the ball. With eight earned runs overall, one of Johnson County’s biggest problems was balancing trouble on the mound against a strong lineup of batters. To their credit, the Longhorns never gave up and battled hard even into the last inning. By that point the game had gone from being tied in the fourth inning, to being down by five in the seventh, but the team struggled right on to the last at bat.
Johnson County made their biggest offensive move in the fourth inning, adding to an early run in the first, and allowing Ryan Mahala, River Cazire, Chad Hodgkiss, Harley Reece, and Judd Hammons to score for the Longhorns. Contact on the ball was still a big issue, despite six base earning hits as well as five walks. Most problematic was a lack in any long range hits into the outfield, keeping the Longhorns from taking multiple bases in a single at bat.
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