Elizabethton broke open a close game with a 13-run explosion in the sixth to take a 21-5 victory over Happy Valley on Tuesday afternoon at Cannon-Gouge Park.
The Cyclones big frame came with a lot of help from the Warriors who committed seven errors on the day - including four in the fateful sixth - and also plunked three batters, walked two more and had four wild pitches in the sixth inning alone.
In all Elizabethton (10-11 overall, 5-3 Three Rivers Conference) scored 13 runs in the sixth on just five hits.
Cyclone first baseman Tony Ward had a big day going four-for-five with his second home run in two days and five runs batted in. Ward smashed a Scotty Simerly delivery over the fence in center field in his first at-bat with Thomas Miller aboard to give EHS a quick 2-0 lead.
"My last home run was in my first at bat too," said Ward. "I have been concentrating a lot on keeping my head down and my stride short. I haven't been hitting too much lately, but I'm glad I am starting to hit some now. I think we will be tough to beat if we keep playing like we can."
HV got a run back in it's half of the first on a RBI double by Simerly which plated Nick Campbell and cut the EHS advantage to 2-1.
Cory Richardson pitched a complete game for Betsy, showcasing a slider and curve ball to keep the Warriors hitters off balance.
"I used my breaking ball a lot, because I don't know if I really had an 'out' pitch," Richardson said. "I was happy with the team's performance, but it could have been better personally. I just tied to keep battling and keep us in it."
EHS struck for three runs in the second as Taylor Edwards reached on an infield error and came around on an RBI single by Jake Hubbard. On the play the HV center fielder over ran the ball for a two-base error allowing another run to come home for the Cyclones.
Jordan Hinshaw's sacrifice fly brought home the fifth run of the game for EHS who took a 5-1 advantage after two innings.
Happy Valley closed to within 5-3 in the third as Simerly hit his second double of the game and came home on a two-bagger by Seth Davis. Davis came around on a RBI single by Chance Street.
As quickly as HV closed the gap, EHS opened it back up with three runs in the fourth as C.J. Bowling's opposite field hit went for three bases. A ground ball by Chad Pritchard brought in Bowling and another infield error by HV after a hit batter and stolen base, scored Hubbard.
Wes Montgomery closed the scoring in the fourth with a RBI single to give Betsy an 8-3 lead.
Happy Valley made it an 8-4 game with a run on three hits in the last of the fourth but left two runners in scoring position when Warrior DH Heath Rutherford was picked off third base by Miller who fired a bullet to Edwards at third who applied the tag.
Warriors head coach Gerald Jenkins lifted Simerly after the fifth, but Davis struggled with his control in relief and didn't make it out of the frame before Haun came in to get the last outs.
In the stanza, Hubbard, Miller and Ward each had RBI base knocks amid all the walks and miscues in the Cyclones double-digit frame.
Simerly finished his day with five innings of work on the mound giving up eight runs (four earned) while striking out three and walking one. He also finished three-for-three at the dish with three doubles and two RBI.
EHS bounced back from a tough road loss to conference-leading Sullivan East on Monday, and Cyclone head coach Joe Nix was wary of a letdown by his club.
"You always have to preach against the tendency to have a letdown after a tough, emotional game," Nix said. "I just wanted to make sure it didn't happen today, and I told the team if you feel that creeping up on you to put it aside. Heck, I felt it myself, but you get the guys to buy into not thinking about it and you lie to yourself if you have to.
"It was good to get off to a fast start, Ward had a good jolt, and he ended up with a heck of a day. This is the right time to be peaking, but at the same time two innings don't make a ball game, and one win doesn't make a season."
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Elizabethton 230 30(13) -- 21 12 3
Happy Valley 102 10 1 -- 5 9 7
Richardson and Miller. Simerly, Davis (6), Haun (6) and Z. Miller.