KINGSPORT — The District 1-AAA baseball tournament saw the transition from single to double elimination this season. The opening round at J. Fred Johnson Stadium saw outstanding pitching performances as both Dobyns-Bennett and Daniel Boone recorded opening wins.
In the Indians’ 5-1 victory over Volunteer, D-B’s Logan Gentry pitched five no-hit innings, allowing only two walks. For good measure, Gentry went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and a home run.
The Indians opened the scoring with three runs in the second inning. Caleb Cook, Sammy Stewart and Mason Ewers each had RBIs.
Payton Marshall’s double in the third and Gentry’s home run in the fifth accounted for the other two runs. Gentry, who improved to 7-0, also recorded five strikeouts.
“Being the first game you can’t take anybody lightly,” he said. “I got a little shaky in the fourth and got off a little on my pitches, but coach came out and talked to me and told me what to do.”
Volunteer’s run came in the sixth when Chase Combs scored on a fielder’s choice RBI by Logan Price.
Both coaches applauded the effort of Falcons sophomore Preston Gray, who was making his first start and handled the tournament pressure well in pitching a complete game.
“I thought their guy (Gray) did a phenomenal job coming into the tournament environment. I’m sure he did exactly what they wanted, along with inducing a lot of fly balls. Credit him with a real good game,” said Tribe coach Ryan Wagner.
Daniel Boone’s Daniel Cox proved to be just as impressive in the Trailblazers’ 9-0 win over David Crockett.
Cox allowed one hit over six innings while recording 10 strikeouts. He also added a two-RBI single.
“His velocity was the best I’ve ever seen, and I think he had a lot of adrenaline going,” said Boone coach Rob Hoover. “He was geared up and ready to go.”
Boone’s runs came in bunches, with the ’Blazers erupting for five runs in the third inning and four in the fifth.
Taylor Smith and Hunter Summie both had two-RBI singles in the third inning, while Jake Littleton scored on a wild pitch.
The fifth saw RBI singles from Trey Combest and Jacob Davis. Cox’s single rounded out the scoring.
D-B and Daniel Boone will meet today in a winners bracket contest.
In Johnson City, Science Hill and Tennessee High both made their way into the winners bracket. The Hilltoppers recorded a 9-1 win over Sullivan Central, and the Vikings slipped by Sullivan South 7-6.