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Blue Devils fall to Sevier Co., Sullivan South

A four-run first inning was all the Smoky Bears needed to make hibernation just an afterthought at Baxter Field.
The Unicoi County High School Blue Devil baseball team kept scratching, but Sevier County had the final say as they cranked three home runs in their 13-3 victory on Saturday, March 21, in Erwin.
The loss moved the Blue Devils’ record to 2-2 on the season after UCHS opened the week with a 9-0 loss to Sullivan South on Monday, March 16.
Chas Hadden, Garret Gay and Nick Osborne each went yard and Devante Matthews went the distance on the hill to keep the Smoky Bears at 8-1 on the season.
“I knew they were going to be a big team and hit the ball well,” UCHS head coach Chad Gillis said. “I had been keeping up with them as they started their season and they’ve beaten some pretty good teams. I think it is good for us though to see talent like Sevier County. Later on down the road, we could see teams with that type of talent so we’ll continue to work and compete to pull a win out.”
Osborne and Sevier County went up 4-0 in the first on Blue Devil pitcher Dylan Putman (0-1) during his first start of the year.
The sophomore was torched early, but showed signs of promise, mainly in the top of the third when the Smoky Bears had a runner on third base with no outs – Putman then retired the next three batters on strikeouts.
“Putman’s performance says a lot about the kind of kid he is. He is a competitor and he’s going to give you all he’s got when he’s out there for us,” Gillis said. “He’s got the tools, but it is just about us getting him into shape.
“He’s just had a couple of bullpens in him and he got a bit of a late start since basketball season.”
The Blue Devils were able to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning thanks to an RBI base hit by Will Collins that scored Shaddon Peavyhouse.
The Blue Devils earned their final two runs in the bottom of the fifth when second baseman Nathan Derry scored on a wild pitch and Will Hubbard knocking Nick Fender home on a fielder’s choice.
Gabe Thomas, who entered the game after Putman’s 3-2/3 innings work on the mound, also laced a hit in the contest.
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Cooper Jackson made certain to spoil any chances of a victory by the Blue Devils in their home opener on Monday, March 16. The Rebel went the distance and threw a one-hit outing through six innings of work, including 11 strikeouts, in the shutout over Unicoi County.
Hubbard (0-1), who took the mound for the Blue Devils, got off to a rough start after a solid performance the week prior against Daniel Boone. The senior was rocked with seven hits through 2-1/3 innings of work with four strikeouts.
Sam McInturff entered in relief for the Blue Devils and allowed one run on five hits throughout the remainder of the contest.
Putman logged the lone UHCS hit in the bottom of the seventh.
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The Blue Devils opened the week on Monday, March 23, against Sullivan East and then traveled to Happy Valley on Tuesday, March 24, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.
They are scheduled to head across the state line to North Carolina for the remainder of action this week starting with a trip to Mount Heritage on Thursday, March 26, at 5 p.m.
Gillis’ crew ends the week on Saturday, March 28, at North Buncombe with first pitch set for 1 p.m.