Tazewell eliminates Carroll County 9-2

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A pair of two-run homers helped the Bulldogs oust the Cavaliers in the SWD quarterfinals.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

TAZEWELL –– Both teams played nice this time around, but only one played well.

A scuffle between Carroll County and Tazewell a couple of weeks ago was left where it belonged – in the past – but nine Cavalier seniors saw their high school careers come to the same fate Saturday as the Bulldogs powered to a 9-2 win in the Southwest District baseball tournament quarterfinals at Lou Peery Field.

Carroll County (8-11) led 2-1 after the top of the second when the Bulldogs (9-10) took control with eight runs over their next three at-bats. Following a run-scoring error, one of four Cavalier defensive miscues, Chase Illig pulled an RBI triple to the rightfield corner and scored on Addison Wood’s base hit for a 4-2 lead after three complete innings.

Rightfield was where the action would remain for a while. Gavin Yates lined a single off the 305-foot wall there, Blake Hash doubled into the rightfield corner and, after courtesy runner Robby Martin scored on a wild pitch, Zak Wasilewski launched a two-run homer somewhere in the general direction of Claypool Hill, stretching the lead to 7-2.

Yates added a two-run homer to the same short porch in the bottom of the fifth inning for the final margin.

Tazewell took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a walk, a stolen base and a misplayed line drive. Carroll County rebounded into a 2-1 lead by the middle of the third. On base via a walk, Reese Edwards advanced on a passed ball, stole third and trotted home when Yates’ throw sailed into leftfield to tie the game at 1-1.

In the top of the third, Ryan Gravley singled, moved up on Isaac Sumner’s sacrifice and scored on a sharply-hit single from Cavalier starting pitcher Garrett Nelson.

Otherwise, Carroll County came up empty on multiple scoring opportunities, leaving two runners stranded in the first and leaving a total of five on base in the fifth and sixth innings.

The Cavaliers managed seven base hits – two each by Gravley and Nelson – off of Wasilewski, but left nine men on base. 

Wasilewski, headed to the University of South Carolina this fall, struck out 11 and was 2-for-4 at the plate. Illig and Yates also had two hits.