Elizabethton heads into the Coca-Cola Classic on a high note, and Happy Valley was again the brunt of the Cyclones' punishment.
The Cyclones disposed of the Warriors 11-5 on Tuesday night in Three Rivers Conference baseball action at Joe O'Brien Field. The teams have played three of the past four days.
"It was good to get a win, but we didn't win the way we'd like to win obviously," Elizabethton coach Joe Nix said. "It was a lack of focus. We had some guys hit the ball well.
"We can't expect to compete for first place in the conference when we show up and kind of give that effort. The win's nice, but that was one of the few positives."
The Cyclones also prevailed last Saturday, and on Monday the affair was called due to thunderstorms.
"We're not coming off the bus ready to play, and I'm trying different things," Happy Valley coach Gerald Jenkins said. "We've got some good baseball players, and we've got some great kids. We just kind of sit for three innings, then we get a little fire under us, and we started playing like we're capable of playing."
Jordan Hinshaw led off for Elizabethton (5-5) with a double, and two batters later Thomas Miller launched a two-run homer. The Cyclones stranded two.
Kasey King rapped a run-scoring single in the second inning. Miller plated a run and Taylor Edwards' two-run single made it 6-0.
Nick Campbell's run-scoring single in the third brought the Warriors (1-6) within 6-1. Edwards unleashed a three-run double in the fourth to push the advantage to 9-1, and the Cyclones left runners on second and third base.
Happy Valley's Scott Simerly punched a run-scoring double in the fifth, trimming the deficit to 9-2. Miller's run-scoring single in the bottom half made it 10-2.
A pair of Warriors crossed on a throwing error in the sixth, cutting the gap to 10-4. An error plated a Cyclone in the sixth, making it 11-4.
In the seventh, Happy Valley got its final run courtesy of an error.
Taylor Gouge was on the hill three innings. He allowed two hits, an earned run, fanned three and walked one.
Corey Richardson pitched two innings. He surrendered five hits, an earned run and struck out three.
McKenly Berry fired the final two innings. He gave up one hit, an earned run, fanned four and walked three while hitting a batter.
"Taylor threw 24 pitches yesterday, so we had him on a short pitch count," Nix said. "Same with Corey, and McKenly threw more than we would have liked him to. He just got a little loose there for a little bit, but we're trying to build him into that closer-type mentality."
Justin Norris went the distance for Happy Valley. The left-hander was touched for 10 hits, yielded nine earned runs, struck out two and walked six while hitting a batter.
"Our pitcher did a good job," Jenkins said. "He was pretty close in there. Some of the calls could have gone our way that they didn't, but that happens.
"We should have made a few more plays, and we should have done a little more. We cut our errors down, but we can play baseball when we get our mind right - and that's what my job is, trying to get my mind right, and I'm not doing a great job right now."
Miller batted 3 for 4 with four RBIs and two stolen bases. Edwards was 2 for 3 with five RBIs.
"We need to show up a different ball club tomorrow," Nix said. "We better show up and hit the ball, because we've got a lot of work in front of us in Science Hill. Hopefully, we can use this tournament to get back to where we need to be, as far as our intensity and focus."
Campbell and Camen Wilder each batted 2 for 3. Simerly was 2 for 4 with two doubles.
Chance Street threw out a baserunner attempting to steal.
"My kids are capable of playing with anybody," Jenkins said. "I think before it's said and done we'll play with some people, surprise some people."
-- -- --
Happy Valley 001 012 1 -- 5 8 5
Elizabethton 240 311 x -- 11 10 4
Norris and Street. Gouge, Richardson (4), Berry (6) and Miller.
WP: Gouge. LP: Norris. HRs--Elizabethton: Miller (1).