KINGSPORT — J. Fred Johnson Stadium was Peyton’s Place on Tuesday night.
Sophomore right-hander Peyton Taylor pitched a three-hitter and struck out 11 batters to lead Dobyns-Bennett past Volunteer 5-0 in Big 8 Conference baseball action.
“Peyton spots the ball and keeps it inside the strike zone,’’ D-B coach Mike Ritz said. “He seldom throws down the middle. Peyton gets his breaking pitch in there for strikes.
“He’s a pretty good pitcher for a 10th-grader.’’
Taylor (3-0) struck out at least one batter in every inning. He has fanned 19 batters this season while walking only one.
The Indians supported him with a seven-hit attack against Volunteer’s Jamie Manis.
The Tribe’s Nick Loughry belted his 11th career triple — a school record — to lead the charge. It was a bittersweet hit. Rounding the bases, Loughry pulled a muscle and had to be taken out of the game.
Loughry said afterward that he felt some pain in the upper portion of his leg but didn’t think it was that serious.
His three-bagger triggered a three-run uprising by D-B in the fifth inning. Glenn Evans singled in pinch-runner Austin Hatley, and Conner Gunn and Garrett Clark stroked back-to-back doubles.
The Indians had opened a 1-0 lead in the second on an error, a sacrifice bunt by Evans and Gunn’s run-scoring single.
They raised the ante to 2-0 in the third. Sean Seabolt singled, stole second, advanced to third on a grounder and raced home when Nathan Millsap lofted a sacrifice fly to center.
“If Volunteer had made a play or two, this could have been a one-run game,’’ Ritz said.
“Manis kept the ball away from us. When that happens, you’ve got to hit the ball to center or right . You can’t pull it. He pitched a really good game,’’ he added.
The game was completed in just 90 minutes.
“I like for my pitchers to get on the mound, work quickly and throw the ball,’’ Ritz said.
D-B (7-2, 3-1) is off to an impressive start considering its youthful roster.
“We’ve been in every game and both of our losses were by one run,’’ Ritz said. “The way the schedule has fallen, we had to condition just a little today. I know these boys are tired, but we’ve got to keep their legs underneath them.’’
It was the 883rd career coaching win for Ritz.
Christian Green, Jake Greer and Shane Barnette all singled for the Falcons (2-10, 0-3).