The finale regular season game of the Smokey Mountain collegiate league took place Thursday night as the Eagles came to Knoxville to take on the Copperheads. A matchup we have seen many times and both teams are evenly matched. TJ Saucers went to the mound for the Eagles while Jordan Davis was the righty for the Copperheads. The Eagles come in to Knoxville looking for win number three in a row while the Copperheads are looking to jump start their offense after a tough week.
Tucker Mendenhall hit a single to leadoff the first and Bryce Hodge drove him in on a two out double. After that inning Jordan Davis was relieved by Brock Beeler. Although there was no reason for it Davis appeared to be fine and had no injuries. Beeler gave up a few free bases but managed two innings of work without giving up a run. He was replaced by Greg Valentine who tallied an inning and two-thirds of his own. Valentine seemed to be on an pitch limit that limited his time on the mound, but that didn’t stop the Copperheads staff. Bubba Hubbard finished off the inning and started his own in the sixth. Hubbard walked four straight to push across a run that would be extremely costly. Micah Genter hit a bases clearing single that would push the Eagles lead to 5. Cameron Bloebaum would come in to finish the game and keep the Copperhead staff above water for their last inning.
The Copperhead hitters had an even tougher day as they battled throughout the day. Seth Hunt lead off the game with a solo shot and the Copperheads took the lead. After that the snakes could only muster up four hits and couldn’t push across another run. Seth Hunt got a single, Jackson hit a single as well, Tripp Carver added a double, and Bennett rallied a single. Other than that the Copperheads were silent in an absolute pitching battle.
The Eagles staff took off from first pitch TJ Saucers and kept the heat on throughout the day. After giving up two hits in the fourth Saucers struck out the side to end his day. Ryan Lloyd came in for the fifth and it was definitely an interesting one. Lloyd battled sickness right after his warm up pitches and battled for two innings. He struck out two while only allowing two hits. He caught a screaming line drive back up the middle to turn two and end his final inning of work. Tyler Shaver came in and came in to close the game while striking out two. The Eagles gave up an early run but buckled down and finished off the game strong. After staying tied at one till the sixth inning the Eagles staff kept their hitters in the game. They were the player of the game because of how they fought for seven innings to pull out the win.
Catch these two teams back in action Monday night as it is the first game of the postseason and get all the Smokey Mountain league news on our website netelitebaseball.com. Find the articles and much more under the collegiate league tab.