The Cyclones, featuring high school players from Elizabethton, orchestrated what announcer Tom Taylor described as an “Orange and Black comeback,” to win 9-8 after trailing the Volunteers by five runs in the fifth inning.
The Cyclones scored four times in the fifth, twice in the sixth and once in the seventh to celebrate a dramatic victory at Northeast Credit Union Community Ballpark.
Down to the final out in the seventh with the bases loaded, Gage Treadway didn’t panic in the batter’s box. He used patience to coax a full count and then kept the at-bat alive by fouling off a couple of pitches. Moments later, he was hit by a pitch, sending Padraig Murphy home with the winning run.
“They had walked me three times previously,” Treadway said. “I wanted to hit, obviously, but I was going to take the walk if they gave it to me. I battled up there at the plate to have a good at-bat and it paid off.
“I loved being in that situation. It’s fun. I was able to get the job done and we got the win.”
Up 2-0 in the fourth, the game nearly got away from the Cyclones. The players out of Volunteer scored seven runs, but the Cyclones responded with the four runs in the fifth.
They had bases loaded in the sixth with a good likelihood of ending the game with a lead because the two-hour time limit was drawing near. However, the Volunteers showed their mettle by turning a 1-6-3 double play to stay alive another inning.
“It was a good play to extend the game,” Volunteers coach Zan Brooks said. “We’ve got some pretty good defensive ballplayers. It was an all-around good game on both sides.”
It certainly was.
Cyclones leadoff batter Jaden Anderson went 3-for-4, including a double, and scored three runs. He also started on the mound, throwing the first 3 2/3 innings.
Ethan Meier pitched the final three innings, striking out seven, walking none and giving up just one hit. He struck out the side in the final inning.
“Meier, he just stepped up in the situation,” Cyclones coach Ethan Eggleston said. “You knew it was his time and he got the job done. We hit a little dry spell in the middle innings, but I told the senior players it was their team and they’ve got to control the energy and they did a good job of that.”
Tucker Bellamy threw the first 4 1/3 innings for the Volunteers and recorded nine strikeouts.
Justin Reed led the Volunteers at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and two runs scored. Ty Burnette also doubled for the Hawkins County team. He, Rylan Greene, Aaron Wills, Caleb Trent, Jesse Rollins and Clay Wampler each scored once.
For the home team, Cooper Tipton drove in three runs, and Murphy went 2-for-3 and scored twice. Bryson Rollins, Elijah Birdsong and Wesley Shankles also had runs.