Kingsport Times-News: Lebanon overpowers Union; Battle beats Virginia High in Region 2D baseball action
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Lebanon overpowers Union; Battle beats Virginia High in Region 2D baseball action

Johnny Wilson, Sports Correspondent • May 30, 2019 at 12:43 AM

BRISTOL, Va. — There were no real surprises Wednesday night in the VHSL Region 2D baseball semifinals at John Battle High School.

The homestanding Trojans opened the evening with a 3-1 win over Virginia High before powerful Lebanon took no prisoners in its 10-1 whipping of Union.

The winners meet back here on Friday to determine the Region 2D champion.

Friday's victor hosts a Class 2 state quarterfinal next week, while the loser travels.

Unfortunately for Union, the Bears saw their season end with a 15-10 record.

"That's a very fine team over there that is well coached, and I have a lot of respect for (30-year Lebanon coach) Doc Adams," said first-year Union coach David Wyrick. "We had five seniors on this team that we are losing and they got us to where we are, but tonight just wasn't our night."

The win upped the Pioneers' record to a glossy 21-2.

TOO MUCH BUCHANAN

Union became the latest victim of sensational sophomore Matthew Buchanan, a left-handed pitcher who already has seven no-hitters in his young prep career.

Buchanan, who has verbally committed to the University of Virginia (Charlottesville), had a perfect game until Bryce Guerrant lined a double down the right-field line with two outs in the fifth inning.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound southpaw finished with a two-hitter and 10 strikeouts.

Union escaped a shutout in the top of the seventh, its run scoring on a bases-loaded, tough-chance popup behind shortstop.

"He (Buchanan) is a left-hander with pretty good velocity, and kids like that are golden, and I mean golden," Wyrick said. "We waited too long, like not until the fourth or fifth inning, to shorten up our swing against him."

PIONEER OFFENSE

Lebanon, which finished with 11 base knocks, scored five runs in the second inning and three more in the fourth to assume a commanding 8-0 advantage.

The offensive standouts were many for Adams, who got a two-run triple from Chandler Morrison and a two-run single from Preston Steele, as well as RBIs from Casey White, Logan Smith, Cole Stoots and Buchanan.

Smith nearly hit for the cycle, needing only a home run to complete the rare feat. His three hits led Lebanon, while Steele and Hunter Hertig had two each.

"This has been a special bunch from day one," Adams said. "They stick together. I've got to stay on 'em though because they're a little too loose for my liking. But they come to play and that's what matters, I guess."

BATTLE BEATS BEARCATS

John Battle defended its home turf and earned a fourth shot against Lebanon with its 3-1 victory over defending state runner-up Virginia High.

The Trojans (16-9) received terrific pitching from veteran left-hander Landon Moore, who allowed three of the Bearcats’ four hits in his six innings of work. A 5-foot-9 senior who finished with nine strikeouts and four walks, Moore was lifted to start the seventh in favor of Micah Whitt, who earned a save.

Battle scored all of its runs in the third inning, Bryson Almany and Zane Poe both racing home on a no-out single by Whitt. Almany and Poe had opened the frame with singles, Poe's coming on a sac bunt attempt.

The third run scored from second base on another sacrifice bunt that ended up being thrown over the head of the Virginia High first baseman.

The Bearcats, who finished with a 12-12 record, scored their only run in the sixth on a Nolan Hoss sacrifice fly that scored Aaron Rose, who had walked.

Rose had two base hits, as did Moore.

Battle collected seven hits off losing pitcher Jordan Dixon.

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