Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Blue Devils fall to Knox Catholic in sectional

Knox Catholic pitcher Ethan Elliot kept his composure against the Unicoi County High School Blue Devil baseball team after a 45-minute rain delay during a sectional game on Friday, May 15, in Knoxville.
The Knoxville native tossed a one-hitter and helped end the Blue Devils’ season with a 12-0 decision in the contest. The victory gave Knox Catholic a berth in TSSAA Spring Fling.
The loss ended the Blue Devils’ season with a record of 22-12.
During Friday’s contest, back-to-back sacrifice fly-outs by Knox Catholic gave the team an early 2-0 through two innings.
Catholic was able earn seven runs in the third and rode that momentum to garner the win.
Blue Devil Sam McInturff tossed two innings in the sectional contest and allowed four runs, three earned, off four hits and walked two batters. Senior Nathan Derry and freshman Caleb Wilson also saw time in relief during the contest.
Shortstop Shaddon Peavyhouse knocked in the lone hit for the Blue Devils on Friday.
The loss wrapped up a successful stint for first-year Blue Devil head coach Chad Gillis. The Blue Devils hit the 20-win plateau and picked up a District 1-AA championship by earning two victories over Sullivan South.
UCHS earned second place in the Three Rivers Conference in the regular season.
Conference awards for baseball will be announced after Sullivan South ends their trip at the Spring Fling this week. The Rebels escaped a 12-inning affair against Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) to win their sectional contest, 3-2, on Friday.
•••
Sullivan South used a nine-run first inning to defeat UCHS, 13-1, on Wednesday, May 13, in Erwin during the Region 1-AA championship.
The Blue Devils didn’t go down without a fight with sophomore Justin Laughren cranking his first home run of the year in the fifth inning. Laughren added one of the Blue Devils three hits against South, along with Peavyhouse and freshman Owen Nicholson.
Dylan Putman recorded the start, but was relieved by Will Collins. Collins struck out three batters during his appearance and scattered two runs off nine hits. Freshman Clay Simpson was also brought in to pitch during the game
The loss to South forced the Blue Devils to go on the road at Knox Catholic for the sectional contest. South’s victory allowed them to host CAK in the sectional.
•••
The Blue Devils survived a late rally by Grainger to win, 4-3, on Tuesday, May 12, and earn a home Region 1-AA championship game. UCHS was scheduled to have their semifinal game on Monday, May 11, but inclement weather forced a postponement to Tuesday.
McInturff fanned eight batters in the contest, but back-to-back home runs by Trey Cabbage and Corey Bates saw a 4-1 lead in the seventh quickly change to just a one run advantage.
In the sixth, McInturff looked to be shaken up with an ankle injury, but had the pitches working in his favor to get out of the game.
“It was hurting,” McInturff said. “I just wanted to fight to help the team.”
Coming up in the clutch was freshman catcher Hunter Higgins, McInturff said, who blocked a pair of wild pitches to keep a Grizzly stranded at third base with two outs.
“He played great tonight,” McInturff said. “All our younger guys have stepped up for us this season.”
Will Hubbard was the mastermind behind the offense. Hubbard knocked in a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, then later scored on a passed ball.
“I wasn’t really thinking anything,” Hubbard said with a smile when asked about his home run at bat. “It felt great to get us on the board.”
Freshman Troy Podvin also scored on a wild pitch to give his team their fourth run.