By Tim Chambers
Happy Valley’s baseball contest with Sullivan North was like a game of Monopoly. The Warriors had several chances, but in the end the Golden Raiders left with a victory in their community chest.
The Tribe fell 4-2 in a rain-shortened, five-inning affair. Happy Valley probably missed tying the game or taking the lead in the third inning by inches. Coach Caleb Moore was happy with their efforts.
“We bounced back and played pretty well today after not playing at all over at Boone,” said Moore. “We’re trying to find some consistency. We had our chances but Sullivan North made a good play on the ball that looked like a hit and got off the field. That’s what the good teams do. They find a way to stop the bleeding. We’ve been letting negatives following negatives instead of someone stepping up and making the big play. That’s what makes solid teams.”
The Golden Raiders wasted no time getting on the board. Corey Rowe’s one-out double in the first inning got things started. A pair of singles by Will Henshaw and Chase Arnold in addition to an error allowed them to take a 2-0 advantage.
A couple of HV miscues helped them build a 3-0 advantage in the second frame.
The Warriors battled back to get within one at 3-2 by plating a pair of runs in the third stanza. Colton Haun and Justin Reagan led off with back-to-back singles. Camen Wilder drove home Haun with their third consecutive base hit.
It could have been more had the circumstances been a little different. With runners at first and third, Wilder attempted to steal second on the first pitch. Freshman Zac Hyder’s hit a shot that appeared to be headed up the middle, but a covering Rowe was in perfect position to turn it into a 6-4-3 double play. This allowed the second run to score, but pretty much ended the rally.
Happy Valley went in order during the fourth and fifth frames.
The Golden Raiders tacked on an insurance run in the fifth.
North was threatening to put the game away in the sixth, but the rain and lightning brought it to a halt — erasing everything beyond five complete frames.
Justin Norris went the distance for the Warriors, allowing just four hits. Three of North’s four runs were unearned.
Mitch West collected the win with a three-hitter for North.
Widner, Haun and Reagan had the only hits for Happy Valley.
Moore is hoping in time that his young guns can turn things around.
“I told our kids that it’s not about wins and loses this seasons — it’s about learning how to compete and not giving up,” said Moore. “Quitting is the easy thing to do. We’ve got some young kids playing at a high level and now we just need everybody playing on the same page. We need them doing what’s best for the team and not what’s best necessarily for them. When we’re able to absorb this, then we’ll have a pretty good baseball team.”
The Warriors will travel to Bristol today to play a non-conference game with Tennessee High at Haynesfield.
Game time is 5 p.m.
Sullivan North 210 01 — 4 4 0
Happy Valley 002 00 — 2 3 3
West and Minnick. Norris and Street. W—West. L—Norris.