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Blue Devils prep for postseason

Just another busy week in the life of the Blue Devil baseball players.
Unicoi County (14-14) (9-5) went all the way from the bottom to the top by having their share of the Three Rivers Conference lead by defeating Sullivan East, 14-2.
The boys would meet Elizabethton for the second time in two weeks at Joe O’Brien Field in hopes of clinching the Three Rivers championship outright for the 2011 season.
Betsy’ would have the Devils number, with Unicoi falling, 10-6.
“They’ve played hard,” coach Charlie Baxter said about his boys’ recent 7-3 spurt within the conference after Blue Devils opened up 1-3. “They played hard today, but we just made too many mistakes against a good team and it’s unfortunate we didn’t play up to our potential.”
The Cyclones would strike first against sophomore pitcher Jonathon Davis, led behind RBI singles from Thomas Miller and Taylor Edwards.
A catch by center fielder Coty Vanhoy would stop the scoring in the first, but Elizabethton rallied to a 3-0 lead going into the top of the second inning.
Cyclone pitcher Taylor Gouge would hold Unicoi to three hits going into the fourth inning, with Cyclones hoping for the same result as last week’s 11-1 victory against the Blue Devils.
After the game on Monday against Sullivan East, the orange and black missed the memo about the Blue Devils’ fourth inning ways.
After a groundout by Scott Gibson and Ethan Rice getting on base by an error, senior Austin Arrowood opened up the scoring for Unicoi, scoring Rice on an RBI triple to put the Blue Devils. Arrowood would later score on a wild pitch and help put the Devils back within striking distance.
A Gavin Whitson single, along with a Ryan Lingerfelt walk and Davis bunt would set up junior shortstop Hunter Goddard to hit a two RBI single to put the boys in the lead 4-3.
Vanhoy scored on a wild pitch and an RBI walk by Gibson and gave the boys a six-run inning, and the lead, going into the bottom of the fourth.
Elizabethton would respond back by scoring seven runs and holding Unicoi scoreless the rest of the game.
“Elizabethton made plays,” Baxter said. “Their pitchers threw strikes, and that’s what you got to do to win and we weren’t able to do that tonight.”
Wes Montgomery came in from the bullpen and recorded the win for the Devils.
“It was a good win for us,” Elizabethton coach Joe Nix said. “Both teams came out ready to play and Unicoi’s just tough to beat. Period.”
The game would put Sullivan East back on top of the conference, who has one less loss than Unicoi, but the second place spot within the conference, that gives the team in the spot a bye game for the district tournaments, was still up for grabs at The Erwin Record’s Monday evening press deadline.

April 25, Sullivan East at UCHS
The Unicoi County Blue Devils experienced their share of the top honors of the Three Rivers conference by defeating Sullivan East, 14-2.
The highlight of the game was a 14-run fourth inning that was spearheaded by junior catcher Timmy Graham who increased the home run total to eight, after hitting two home runs and driving in five RBIs.
Scott Gibson (6-1) pitched a complete game for the Devils that led to the victory.

April 28 UCHS at David Crockett
The game on Thursday was a reminder of the Pioneers and Blue Devils last match-up due to the heavy offensive production by both teams.
The end result wasn’t the same however, with Unicoi coming away with a 10-8 victory on the road.
Coty Vanhoy went the distance on the mound for the boys, with Austin Arrowood relieving Vanhoy in the seventh to wrap up the game for the Blue Devils.
Gavin Whitson led the offense by driving in two runs.

April 29 Dobyns-Bennett at UCHS
Dobyns-Bennett was just too much. The Indians were able to defeat the Blue Devils 22-3 on Friday night at Baxter Field. Blue Devil William McInturff hit his first homerun of the season during the night for Unicoi.

April 30 UCHS at Loudon
Pitchers duel can explain Saturday’s game, as the Blue Devils traveled to Loudon to face the Loudon Redskins. Ethan Rice pitched a complete game for Unicoi, but the Redskins would squeak by with the win, 3-2, in extra innings.

This Week
The Blue Devils will wrap up their final conference match-up of the season on the road against Happy Valley on Monday, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.
The Blue Devils will have their senior night festivities on Tuesday against David Crockett at Baxter Field. Game time for each game is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.
District tournaments will begin on Friday, with games being played at Milligan College. Team and time for Unicoi’s matchup is TBA