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Blue Devil baseball team shut out in district tournament game

Owen Nicholson lays down a bunt. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Keeli Parkey)

By Keeli Parkey

The Blue Devils had their backs against the wall on Tuesday, May 8, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline for this issue.

Following an 11-0 loss to Elizabethton in the District 1-AA tournament on Monday, May 7, the Unicoi County High School baseball team (19-13, 10-2) had to defeat Sullivan East on Tuesday to keep their postseason hopes alive.

“We had several opportunities in the first and second innings to put runs on the board,” head coach Chad Gillis said about Monday’s loss. “We didn’t capitalize on Elizabethton’s errors throughout the first few innings.”

A loss on Tuesday ended the season for the Blue Devils. A win over East set up a rematch with Elizabethton later Tuesday evening and gave UCHS a berth in the regional tournament. A loss to Elizabethton Tuesday gave the Cyclones the district title and put the Blue Devils in second place.

If the Blue Devils defeated East, then defeated Elizabethton on Tuesday, they will play Elizabethton for the district title on Wednesday, May 9, at 6 p.m. at Cardinal Park.

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The Blue Devils opened the district tournament with a 5-0 victory over Sullivan Central on Saturday, May 5, at Cardinal Park.

Pitcher Caleb Wilson (6-3) earned the victory for UCHS.

“Caleb came out and had a great day on the mound,” Gillis said. “He pitched himself out of some pretty tough situations. We also played well defensively behind him. Offensively, we started out slow, but had some key hits late in the game to push some runs across.”

Clay Simpson, Keaton Casey and Brett Strother were all 2-3 at the plate.

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UCHS ended the regular season on May 1 with a 12-5 loss to Dobyns-Bennett in Erwin.