By Rick Sheek
Dean Malene had his best stuff, and Horace Mann Insurance couldn’t answer at the plate.
Malene hurled a two-hitter, striking out 14 with two walks and a wild pitch, as the East Tennessee Xplosion blanked Horace Mann 1-0 in Babe Ruth baseball action on Tuesday evening at Elizabethton High School.
“This is mostly a travel ball team that we’re playing, and our kids are young,” Mann coach Rick Walters said. “I’ve got mostly 13-year-olds. Our pitcher is going to be gone next week, so we went ahead and pitched him tonight.”
Indeed, Wyatt Lyons wasn’t bad in absorbing the loss. The left-hander scattered four hits and fanned 10 with four walks and a wild pitch.