Daniel Boone hurler David Love throws a pitch against Sullivan South on Monday in the District 1-AAA tournament at J. Fred Johnson Stadium. (photo by Ned Jilton II)
KINGSPORT — The District 1-AAA baseball tournament has had its share of disruptions. Senior prom caused several games to be juggled and then rain canceled Sunday’s action. A forecast for heavy rain Monday caused host Volunteer to move the games to J. Fred Johnson Stadium.
The one thing Sullivan South couldn’t move was Daniel Boone’s pitching rotation, and the Trailblazers eked out a 2-1 win in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Twice this season Boone’s David Love faced the Rebels, and both times he came out a winner. His turn came up in the rotation again Monday and, for the third time, he won again. He held South scoreless for six innings allowing only three hits.
Love was relieved in the seventh with one out by Jake Littleton.
“We really needed him tonight. Not only because he has been successful against them, but out of necessity, he was the next man up,” said Daniel Boone coach Rob Hoover.
The Trailblazers led off the third inning with back-to-back singles, and Neyland Davenport eventually came home on a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead. South second baseman Caleb Krutak’s line-drive catch and quick step on second base for a double play saved another run from scoring.
“We couldn’t hit Love all year. Three times he has come in and beat us. He just did a great job tonight,” said South coach Anthony Richardson.
The score stayed unchanged until the seventh when South’s Jamin McCann led off with a single, followed by walks to Tyler Troutman and Parker Zollman. Krutak’s fielder’s choice plated McCann for the 1-1 tie.
Taylor Smith’s double deep into right field plated Boone teammate Zach Peters — who had reached on a fielder’s choice — for the winning run. Peters scored all the way from first base.
“It was 3-2 with two outs and we were going on the pitch. We had to put the pressure on them and it worked,” Hoover said.
South closed out the season with 20-14 record. Changes are in line for the Rebels next year, including the loss of nine seniors as well as the drop to AA classification.
“This has been a great group of seniors. Some are going on to play ball, others to college, but I know they are all going to be successful in what they do,” Richardson said.
Tennessee High showed no aftereffects of the 15-1 loss it suffered Saturday against Science Hill. The Vikings used a seven-run second inning to eliminate David Crockett 13-5.
Colton Shankle allowed one run through four innings and accounted for four RBIs, going 4-for-5 while at bat.
Boone will play Tennessee High at 5 p.m. today when the tournament moves back to Church Hill, followed by D-B and Science Hill facing off at 7:30.