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Tornadoes feel sting again as crown fits Yellowjackets

Tornadoes feel sting again as crown fits Yellowjackets
Tornadoes feel sting again as crown fits Yellowjackets

Union City head coach Jeremy Maddox tries to rally the troops during Thursday’s loss.
Not that it needed much, but any help Greenfield had to have to repeat as District 14A champions, it got from Union City.
The Tornadoes committed six errors against the Yellowjackets for the second straight game Thursday and were forced to watch G’field celebrate winning the tournament championship on their own L.H. Ladd Field turf for a second straight year following a 6-3 loss in the 14A title game.
However, the setback is not the end of the line for UC (20-15), which advances to the Region 7A Tournament semifinals Monday at Huntingdon (25-12). The contest has been set for 3:30 p.m., due to graduation ceremonies at HHS that evening.
Greenfield hosts Clarksburg in the other regional semi.
Monday’s winners will play for the tourney championship on Wednesday and also automatically qualify for Friday’s sectionals.
The Twisters, who bounced back from a similar six-error loss on Tuesday vs. Greenfield with a solid defensive effort Wednesday against Halls to qualify for the district championship game and next week’s regionals, can only hope to repeat that after Thursday’s meltdown.
Union City made at least one error in each of the first three innings against the Yellowjackets that led to runs and was guilty of a gaffe in a three-run fifth when Greenfield broke a 3-all tie with a trio of difference-making runs.
“It just really makes me sick to look up there at the scoreboard and see that ‘6’ in the error column,” UC head coach Jeremy Maddox said afterward. “I thought we competed better than on Tuesday when they beat us 15-3 but, bottom line, you can’t give teams like Greenfield extra outs in an inning.
“They’ll ultimately capitalize on those opportunities, and that’s what they did to us.”
Four of the ‘Jackets’ six runs were unearned in the contest, though G’field did hit the ball solidly, too, as their 11 total hits suggest.
Ty Smithson went 3-for-3 for the winners, while tournament most valuable player Dalton Potts and Heath Crouse both had two hits in four trips.
UC leadoff man Drake Parker went 2-for-3, scoring the game’s first run and also driving in the tying tally in the fourth when the locals briefly pulled even at 3.
One at-bat earlier, the Twisters tied the contest at 2 on a solo home run by catcher Stevie Gossett, who also drove in Parker in the Union City first and was 2-for-4 in all.
Greenfield’s deciding frame in the fifth included a leadoff double by Crouse off Tornado freshman starter Eric Moore, a run-scoring hit by Eric Johnson and a RBI single by Smithson. A costly UC error was sandwiched between five Yellowjacket hits in all.
Moore actually accounted for himself well and deserved a better fate than the pitching loss for the locals. He gave up 10 hits, but just two earned runs in five innings. Zack Cavness tossed a shutout inning of relief to finish up.
“Eric did a good job,” Maddox agreed. “He’s pitched well against some quality teams this year.
“He was a little nervous early and couldn’t get his off-speed pitches over for strikes, but we certainly could’ve played better behind him.”
Union City had a last chance to rally in the sixth but couldn’t score after loading the bases with two outs against the southpaw Potts, who came on in relief of Johnson at the start of the inning.
Branson Sherwood walked to open the inning and then was joined on the bases by Brandon Griffin, who beat out and infield hit, and Parker, who reached on an error.
Cameron Powers popped up on the infield, though, to end the threat.
Parker and Gossett were named to the all-district team in postgame ceremonies, joined by South Fulton’s Ryan Prince and Kyle Clouse, among others. UC’s Parker, Sherwood and Rance Barnes all were selected to the all-tournament team, along with Prince and Jonathan Clouse of the Red Devils.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.
 

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