By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
April 10, 2013 — The East Carter baseball team came back from a spring break tournament in Florida with a 2-4 record.
But it was Monday night’s game with Johnson Central that the Raiders will remember most.
Conner Staton hit a walk-off home run, only his second career roundtripper, in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Raiders defeated the Golden Eagles 4-3 in Grayson to open a seven game homestand.
“Conner is a gamer,” Coach Jeremiah Shearer said. “He’s a kid that loves the big situations. He thrives on it.”
The Raiders (5-7) put together a solid outing against a team that won the 57th District Championship last season and made it to the semifinals of the 15th Region tournament.
“It was a big win for us,” Shearer said. “Our record doesn’t indicate how well we’ve played. We saw excellent competition down in Florida and it has definitely carried over into the game against Johnson Central. They are a quality team.”
Staton ended up pitching in relief for starter Chandler Adams and really slammed the door on Johnson Central. In four innings, he struck out 10 Golden Eagles. He entered the sixth in a bases loaded situation and earned two strikeouts and a pop-up to end the threat.
Shearer credited his ball club’s play on the defensive side of the field that played a big factor in the victory.
“We played really well defensively. We had no errors in nine innings,” Shearer said. “We made plays in the infield and the outfield. I’m very happy with this team’s performance.”
East played Elliott County in 62nd District action Tuesday night. They will host Boyd County Thursday night before the opening of the Jack B. Calhoun Memorial Classic on Friday.
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.