By TREY WILLIAMS
After being picked to finish sixth in the Big Seven Conference, David Crockett’s baseball team opened the league schedule by defeating preseason favorite Tennessee High on Monday at Todd Houston Field in Bristol.
Senior left-handed pitcher Luke Adams (1-1) allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings and sophomore catcher Dakota Stout went 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI for Crockett in the conference debut of first-year coach Spencer Street. The former Daniel Boone assistant was particularly impressed with Adams, who doesn’t let a lack of overpowering velocity keep him from pitching inside and didn’t let shaky Pioneers defense in the first inning affect his attitude.
“He’s had to compete for everything he’s ever gotten,” Street said. “He’s always kind of been an undersized guy, you know, ‘you don’t throw hard enough’ or ‘you don’t have a good enough this.’ He loves to compete and he loves these guys.
“He’s been a leader in the clubhouse all offseason. He works his tail off in the weight room. If you need somebody to get something done, you can trust him to get it done. And that shows when he’s out on the mound. He’s there for his teammates. He didn’t hit the panic button and he continued to throw strikes, which is something we had to have tonight.”
Adams allowed five hits, walked four and hit two batters while throwing 120 pitches.
“We’re a good team,” Adams said. “We came out a little sloppy, but I knew we were gonna hit. So I just had to keep throwing strikes. My team was behind me the whole way.”
Grady Cash was 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs and Cade Larkins went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and three RBIs. Cody Wheeley was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI and Johnny Loyd had a two-run double.
Stout, a left-handed batting sophomore catcher hitting seventh in the lineup, delivered four line-drive hits.
“As a sophomore, to step up and do that, was (impressive),” Street said. “We kind of know what we’re gonna get with our top five or six. We really feel confident with those guys. … With Adams and Quillen and Cash and Larkins and Wheeley, you know, that’s a dangerous five guys.”
Center fielder Micah Robinson made two impressive catches.
“Micah can go get it,” Street said. “He can flat-out pick ‘em up and put ‘em down.”
Crockett went 9-22 last season. So a taste of success isn’t expected to fill the Pioneers with complacency.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Adams said, “before we can prove people wrong.”
Daniel Boone Softball
Daniel Boone’s softball team opened the season in dramatic fashion, winning 6-1 in extra innings at David Crockett last week.
Nickolette Ferguson’s grand slam capped a five-run eighth for the Trailblazers. Megan Ackerman struck out 11 en route to the complete-game victory and went 3-for-5 with two go-ahead RBI singles.
“Megan threw a great game against Crockett, striking out 11 and giving up five hits and not walking anybody,” Boone coach Jeremy Jenkins said.
The ‘Blazers went 5-2 this past weekend at the Mary Vowell tournament in Franklin and reached the championship game, where it lost 9-8 to Creekwood. Freshman Brylee Mesusan was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and three stolen bases in the championship.
Boone had defeated Creekwood, 2-0, in pool play. Ackerman pitched a three-hit shutout and went 2-for-2 with two doubles.
Another freshman, Camryn Sarvis, went 3-for-3 with two home runs in a 12-0 victory against Dobyns-Bennett.
Daniel Boone Baseball
After opening the Big Seven schedule by splitting a pair of games with perennial power Dobyns-Bennett last week, Daniel Boone’s baseball team improved to 2-1 in the league with a 17-2 five-inning victory against Volunteer on Monday.
Hunter Adams struck out 13 while pitching a three-hitter and Colby Backus drove in five runs for the Trailblazers (2-1, 4-2).
Rob Hoover’s ‘Blazers defeated Sullivan South, 8-3, and Morristown East, 8-2, on Saturday in Morristown. Center fielder Brody Goodman stole three bases against South in support of Chase Chandler’s victory. Ryne Haney got the victory against Morristown East.