Sequoyah got the baseball season started with a few five-inning games at Knoxville West High School on Saturday, part of the Knox County Playday. While the games do not count toward Sequoyah’s overall record this season, it was a good opportunity to measure up early against solid teams.
Sequoyah 1, Cocke County 0
Sequoyah took on Cocke County in game one and while both sides struggled to score runs, it was the Chiefs that took advantage of Cocke County errors to scratch a winning run across home plate.
Brock Martin managed a single in the first inning, but strikeouts to Cade Self and Ryan McKee and a fly out by Sam Raper derailed the Chiefs in the firs frame. Cocke County matched Sequoyah in the first with a lead off single, and got one runner aboard thanks to an error, but the Fighting Cocks couldn’t score from the situation.
Eric Neal did the damage for Sequoyah in the second frame. Neal got aboard with a walk, and did the rest with his legs as well, stealing second base before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Another off-target pitch that ricocheted around the batters box gave Neal a small window of opportunity and he took it, racing home to put the Chiefs on the board first. Zack Webb, Joe Britton and Ricky Mason followed that up with strikeouts to end the inning, but not before the Chiefs took a lead.
Starting pitcher Preston Abdulla did a masterful job in the bottom of the frame, inducing two fly outs and a strikeout to hold Cocke County scoreless.
The bad news for Sequoyah was that the Cocke County defense was just as strong. Two more strikeouts made easy work of the Chiefs in the third, and two more derailed the fourth inning, though Martin did smack his second single of the day.
Sequoyah finally threatened in the top of the fifth. Webb, Mason, and Abdulla each took a walk to load the bases for the Chiefs. However, a fly out by Grant Butler helped end the inning with no damage done.
That stop gave Cocke County a fighting chance in the bottom of the fifth, but three outs sandwiched around a walk for Abdulla helped preserve the win for the Chiefs in five innings.
Halls 5, Sequoyah 2
Halls got off to a good start with two walks by Berry and Elkins in the first inning, but couldn’t produce a run out of the free passes.
Sam Raper pushed ahead for Sequoyah, leading off the bottom of the first with a double, and he advanced to third on a wild pitch. However, two strikeouts by Halls’ Rayhuff helped defuse the threat and end the frame with both teams scoreless.
Rayhuff singled for Halls in the top of the second, but that was all the bats could manage in the frame, as Sequoyah sprinkled in two strikeouts to manage the Red Devil offense. Three straight strikeouts for Halls in the bottom of the frame, however, kept Sequoyah scoreless as well.
Halls threatened again with two singles to start the third, but a rundown at second base and two more quick outs ended the threat with the Red Devils still scoreless. Ricky Mason got on board in the bottom half with a walk, but was caught stealing second base. Joe Britton and Cade Self went down to strikeouts to end the frame.
Halls finally broke through the serious Sequoyah defense in the fourth, as Blake Hubble led off with a double. Housewright followed with an RBI single to score the first run, and Rayhuff followed a moment later with a single of his own to put the second run on the board.
Brock Martin singled for Sequoyah in the bottom of the frame, but the hit was not enough to gather momentum for the Chiefs.
Halls just added to the lead in the fifth inning. Cam Wilder led off with a single and Johnson walked to set up Elkins for a single that loaded the bases. A bases-loaded walk to Hubble scored a run for Halls, and a single by Housewright brought in another run. Another walk scored a third run for Halls, making the margin 5-0 after the top of the fifth.
Sequoyah wasn’t done yet, however. Josh Stakely, Austin Summey, and Ricky Mason walked to load the bases and a single by Cade Self scored the first run for Sequoyah. Sam Raper was hit by a pitch and walked in another run, but the comeback was not to be for the Chiefs. A strikeout by Brock Martin ended the threat and sealed the win for Halls.