KINGSPORT — It’s a worn-out adage that March comes in like a lion but goes out like a lamb.
Sullivan North coach Steve Dixon would just as soon his baseball team didn’t emulate worn-out adages.
The Golden Raiders exploded for five runs in the first inning but fizzled out over the following six as visiting University High picked up an 8-5 non-district win at Sullivan North Thursday.
“We’ve had that pattern the last couple years. We score a bunch early and then we just quit,” Dixon said. “We’ve got to find some way to fix that.”
Leadoff man Cory Rowe got things rolling for the Raiders in a big way with a triple, scoring on designated hitter Bryce Salyers’ single. Salyers went on to score on a wild pitch.
The inning grew increasingly nightmarish for Junior Bucs starter Marshall Hurley, who saw the bases loaded by an error and two walks. Nick Copas stroked a double to score all three.
The nightmare didn’t last. Chase Arnold’s double in the second and single in the fourth was all the hitting North (0-2) would accomplish for the rest of the day. There was no more scoring to be had.
The Junior Bucs (1-1) only mustered four hits. But with Aaron Minnick, Seth Maxwell and Chase Arnold combining to hit seven batters and walk four more, University High was active enough on the basepaths to win.
Save for two baserunners in the seventh inning, every University High runner that scored got a free pass to first. A few of those passes were actually pain-free. Two runs scored on wild pitches.