WISE — Union coach J.W. Salyers expected his promising young baseball team to encounter some adversity this season.
He’d hoped it would handle it a little better than it did at Mack Shupe Field on Friday night.
Wise Central pitcher Nate Thompson went the distance for a four-hit shutout and the Warriors collected a 4-0 Lonesome Pine District win.
“At the end of the day we’ve got to hit the Thompson kid better. That guy threw a heck of a ballgame. Our guy (Derrick Watkins) threw a heck of a ballgame. We lost it mentally,” said Salyers, whose squad also turned in three errors.
Central (7-3, 3-1), which beat Union in both regular-season meetings, moved into the district lead alongside Clintwood.
The Greenwave had been slated to play J.I. Burton at Lawson-Fitchko Stadium on Friday, but that game was postponed because of a school activities conflict.
The victory marked the first seven-inning game for Thompson (3-1), who struck out eight. The freshman right-hander plunked one batter in the first inning and didn’t give up his lone walk until the seventh. He erased one baserunner with a successful pick-off throw to second.
“It feels pretty good. I’ve had a lot of energy all week and I needed it for this game,” Thompson said. “I did what I did. It ended up pretty good, I guess.”
For the complete game story, see the Sports section in Saturday's Kingsport Times-News.