Three county games in three nights for Sequoyah (with a fourth in wait)? Check.
Two bounce back county wins in two nights for Sequoyah? Check.
Heading into Thursday’s matchup at Tellico Plains, the Chiefs were coming off of a 1-1 series and a nail-biting Wednesday win over Sweetwater at home. And the momentum didn’t stay at Tim Leonard Field, as Sequoyah used a potent offensive attack and stout pitching to notch their second county win in as many days, 11-3.
John-Douglas Wiggins was a big part of the Chiefs’ success, with the senior recording five total RBIs against the Bears.
“(Wiggins has) been seeing the ball well all week,” Monhollen said. “I’m not sure how many hits he has in the last couple days but he’s been on base about every time that he’s gotten up this week.”
Wiggins batted in Cade Self with a one-out single and Brock Martin drove home Luke Brackett on a sacrifice to give Sequoyah a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Martin made an impact again in the third, scoring Andrew Arp on a fielder’s choice to push the Chiefs’ advantage to three runs.
Bo Elliott struck back for Tellico with a one-out single that scored Ty Hamilton in the bottom of the third, and Gaige Fairbanks beat the throw to home on would have been a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the fourth to cut Sequoyah’s lead to just one run.
But the Chiefs’ offense then kicked into overdrive, as RBIs from Self and Wiggins forced a Tellico pitching change, with Ben Edwards replacing Ethan Fairbanks in the top of the fifth inning.
It didn’t keep Sequoyah from piling on, though, as Luke Lay and Joe Britton scored runners before a triple by Wiggins drove Josh Stakely, Self and Brackett all home.
“Overall the offense is in a good place,” Monhollen said. “They’re starting to adjust to counts and doing a better job understanding what they’re looking for in different situations.”
Martin added one more RBI for Sequoyah and Elliott scored a Tellico runner on a sac fly in garbage time to give the game its final 11-3 score line.
Eric Neal started on the mound for Sequoyah and produced a strong outing, only exiting after six innings of work and only two runs allowed.
“Eric Neal’s had a really good year,” Monhollen said. “I think he came out with confidence, ready to spot up and (he’s) just got a lot of trust in his defense. Our defense has been doing a really good job this year and as a pitcher, when you know that your defense is going to make plays behind you, it makes it a lot easier to go after hitters and not fall behind in counts.”
How did it feel for Monhollen and the Chiefs to win two county games in a row?
“We try to teach our guys to not look at their opponent but to play the game,” Monhollen said. “So we say, ‘Play the 8 10 10, the Wilson 8 10 10. Play the baseball and don’t worry about your opponent. And I think that’s what they did today, so it was good.
“Now after the fact, yeah, it’s pretty sweet to win two county games.”