Patriots Prevail over Smoky Bears in Home Opener, 6-5
After spending the winter preparing, the Jefferson County Patriots Baseball Team kicked off regular season play Monday night. Hosting the Sevier County Smoky Bears, the Patriots welcomed fans back to Dumplin Valley.
Things kicked off quietly for the first couple innings, as each team took to the field and did their job of keeping runners at bay.
Jefferson County took to the field first, with the Smoky Bears at bat. The top of the first ended rather quickly with a ground out, and to pop flies caught by Tyler Franklin and Logan Flynn. The bottom of the first ended just as quickly for the Patriots, as two strikeouts and a smack that went straight to third base put the Patriots back on the defensive.
The second inning, just as quiet as the first, moved at a similar pace. It was at the top of the third that the action started.
The Smoky Bears made it to first on an error, then offered up a sacrifice bunt, putting runners on both first and second. With one out and two runners on base, Sevier County’s Wallace doubled on a line drive, bringing in Moore. Giresdorf, even though getting put out by Matt Bradley, brought in another runner. The Patriots took over at the bottom of the third, down 2-0. The first batter up for the inning, Flynn, took a hit by Wallace and advanced to first base. Whitley brought Flynn home, finally putting Jefferson County on the board. The fourth inning began with Jefferson County only down by one.
The Patriots kept the Smoky Bears at bay for the fourth inning. As they took to the plate for their go, Jacob Rogers nailed one to left field, making it to first base. After Brandon Saylor and Franklin took a walk, Rogers came in as Flynn went out swinging, tying up the score 2-2.
The Bears went on a three run rally at the top of the fifth, one coming in by sneaking in on a passed ball, and two coming in on a single. After three up and three down in the bottom of the fifth, things were looking strained for Jefferson County.
The top of the sixth, though, began an awakening for the Patriots. The field took care of business with three up and three down. The time for redemption was at hand for Jefferson County, and they made it count. The bottom of the sixth looked scary at first, with Rogers striking out first off. Franklin singled off a grounder, followed by Saylor, who pushed Franklin to third by getting to second on an error. As Wallace began wearing down on the mound, Franklin made it on the board by sneaking home. After Flynn drew the walk, Tyler Shaver singled on a line driver to right field, bringing in Saylor. Flynn made it home to tie up the game, thanks to a single by Bradley. Shaver was the last one to make it home, even though both Jonathan Royster and Sean Fladd got hit by pitches by Wallace.
The seventh inning was short lived, as Shaver relieved Saylor. Three batters came up to the plate, three batters sent back to the dugout. The Jefferson County Patriots prevailed in the back and forth that was their home opener, 6-5.
In his six innings at the mound, Saylor only allowed one walk, and had four hits. Flynn lead with the scoring for the evening, making it home twice.
The Jefferson County Patriots will travel to Sevier County on Tuesday, then will Host Halls on Wednesday. First pitch for Wednesday’s game is set for 5:00 for the Varsity, 7:00 for the JV.