By Tim Chambers
Rebuilding Happy Valley’s baseball program has been a slow process for head coach Caleb Moore, just like construction on the new Carter County jail has been for sheriff Chris Mathes.
For Mathes, his project is nearly complete. It’s a different story for Moore.
The Warriors discombobulated in an 11-0 loss to Sullivan East on Tuesday afternoon. They managed only two hits off Patriots starter Kyle Harris, who went the distance. Making matters worse were the six errors they committed and the nine times they struck out in the six innings played.
“It’s the same old song and dance,” said Moore. “We strike out nine times offensively — we walked some guys and made six errors. If you do those things, then obviously you’re not going to win many ball games. For three innings, our opponent didn’t have to take their gloves to the field. I’m just trying to teach these guys to compete — to play hard no matter what the score or situation is.”
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when East broke loose for four runs.
A pair of doubles by Jordan Jackson and Aaron Boling got things rolling. Two consecutive errors, a bad hop single and sac fly would only add insult to injury.
Another couple of blunders and Josh Jackson’s two-bagger allowed to more to score in the fifth.
Their final half-dozen runs came in the sixth, with a base-loaded double by Hunter Widener being the key blow.
Happy Valley’s only two hits came in the third and fourth innings on singles by Hunter Townsend and Garrett Church, both freshmen.
The Tribe had runners at second and third in the same two frames, but couldn’t score.
Jordan Jackson and Boling recorded two hits apiece for the Pats.
Moore remains optimistic despite the team’s youth and inexperience. He’s using games as a measuring stick from here on out.
“Right now this is an audition for next year,” said Moore. We’re trying to give all the guys and opportunity and they’ve got to be able to step up and make the most of it. You have to be ready to step up and play whenever you get the chance.” ———
Sullivan East 004 025 — 11 9 1
Happy Valley 000 000 — 0 2 6
Harris and Jackson. Townsend, Allie (5), Haun (6) and Street. W—Harris. L—Townsend.