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Devils win three in a row

Hits came in droves for Unicoi County High School on the diamonds in Tennessee and North Carolina.
After struggling during a two-game losing streak, the Blue Devils ended last week with a 5-3 win over North Buncombe, N.C., on Saturday, March 28. The win was the third straight for UCHS.
“I knew we turned a corner after the Happy Valley game,” UCHS head coach Chad Gillis said. “We hit a slump hitting, but the last three games we had over 10 hits and that’s what we needed.”
The Blue Devils are now 5-2 on the season after last week’s action. They have also solidified themselves with a 2-2 mark inside the Three Rivers Conference.
A two-game stand in North Carolina saw the climax come down to key hits, Gillis said, along with a one-two punch from Gabe Thomas and Nathan Derry. North Buncombe was riding high after a victory over Greeneville, a District 2-AA team the Blue Devils could see later down the line.
“Gabe got his first start of the season,” Gillis said. “He threw well and Nathan came in and shut them down.”
Jacob Lynch led UCHS at the dish with a 3-4 effort while shortstop Shaddon Peavyhouse went 2-3.
The Blue Devils rattled off 15 hits in their first trip to North Carolina in a 16-1 win against Mt. Heritage on Thursday, March 26. Sophomore pitcher Dylan Putman recorded his first win of the season.
Putman added a 3-4 effort at the plate. Will Collins, who entered in relief for Putman in the fifth, went perfect at the plate with two hits. Freshman Troy Podvin also garnered his first varsity hit of the year in the victory.
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Derry provided a spark in relief to pick up his first win of the season on Tuesday, March 24, in a 7-5 win against a surging Happy Valley team on the road.
“It was an important win for us,” Derry said. “We needed to make adjustments and we took that to heart from our coaches and wanted to get the job done tonight.”
UCHS used a three-run burst in the fifth and sixth innings to ultimately pull away with the triumph.
Peavyhouse led the way offensively with three hits. Nick Fender, Sam McInturff and Derry all chipped in two hits each. Putman knocked in two runs and Will Hubbard, McInturff, Peavyhouse, Derry and Lynch all knocked in an RBI each.
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McInturff rang up 12 batters but couldn’t receive back up from the offensive in a 2-0 loss to Sullivan East on Monday, March 23, at Baxter Field in Erwin.
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The Blue Devils opened this week with contests against Johnson County on March 30 and Sullivan North on March 31 after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.
Their next contest is scheduled for Monday, April 6, at Elizabethton.