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Jackets hold off the Braves

Hayesville character Avery Leatherwood does his best to protect the plate. (Photo courtesy of Brooke Leatherwood.)

By Travis Dockery

389 Country Editor

Following a tough loss to Swain County, the Hayesville Yellow Jacket varsity baseball team hit the road to face the Braves in Cherokee on Friday, April 29. Although Cherokee made it interesting late, the Jackets swung away to get the 16-7 win.

Hayesville was unable to capitalize on batting first, but the Braves used their first at bat to earn a 1-0 lead by the end of the opening inning. In the second, the momentum pendulum swung to the Jackets in the form of 2 unanswered runs.

The Jackets found more success in the top of the third, pushing 4 runs across the plate to build their lead to 6-1. Scoring disappeared for both teams until the top of the fourth when Hayesville again poked Cherokee's pitching for 4 runs. Up 10-1, it appeared the Jackets were cruising to a victory, but the Braves refused to give up.

In the bottom of the sixth, Cherokee's bats came to life, resulting in 6 run and cutting the Jacket's lead to 10-7. Hayesville used its half of the seventh inning to match the Braves' rally and finished Cherokee off in the bottom of the inning to secure the 16-7 win.

Freshman Mike Mauney led the team with 4 RBIs while Braxton Cherry and Mason Cook each drove in a pair of runs. Cook did his damage with 2 doubles, a team high. Catcher Avery Leatherwood showed patience at the plate, drawing two walks. Five Yellow Jackets were successful in stolen base attempts.

On the mound, junior Cade Denton pitched the majority of the game, going five innings, allowing 1 earned run on one hit, walking three and striking out 6. Cade Curuso and Tate Roberts also took the mound for Hayesville. Curuso struck out three of the batters he faced in 1 and 2/3 inning he pitched and Roberts fanned one batter.

Next up for the Jackets is a road game against arch rival Murphy on Tuesday, May 3. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.

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