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By GOOSE LINDSAY
With all nine starters back from last year’s sectional team, the Harriman Blue Devils are looking for big things in 2008.
Harriman opened the season with a big win Monday as Andy Adcox’s squad knocked off Class AAA opponent Cumberland County, 6-3.
“We were a young team last year, but we kept improving as the season went along and we played pretty good at the end of the year,” Harriman head coach Andy Adcox said. “Now we’re looking to pick up where we left off and keep improving.
“Defensively, we’ve been playing well in our scrimmages and I thought we did so tonight. I don’t think we kicked it around any tonight. Our offense has to pick it up though. We’re behind where we were last year.”
Monday’s game was close throughout.
Harriman did lead 4-1 after two innings, but the Jets came back with two runs in the top of the third inning to pull within 4-3. That, however, is when Blue Devil junior Christian Pryor took the mound and shut down the Jets over the final four innings of play.
In four innings of work, Pryor allowed only three hits and one walk while striking out eight.
“Pryor pitched his hind end off tonight,” Adcox said. “He came in and shut them down.
“Our pitching has come a long way so far this season.”
Both teams scored a single run in the first inning.
Nathan Smith walked and scored Harriman’s first run of the year on a double from A.J. Johnson.
The second inning would see three Blue Devils cross the plate.
Damian Miller singled to start the inning and he would score when Caleb Dryman reached on an error. Houston Pass and Cody Morton followed with walks to load the bases then Cody Pierce gave the Blue Devils a 4-1 lead with a two-run single.
Cumberland County closed the gap to 4-3 after three innings of play, but the Devils added a run to their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Pierce got things going with a single and he would eventually score after a Smith single and a walk to Johnson.
Harriman’s final run came in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Morton led off the inning with a single and he advanced when Smith reached on an error with one out. Morton later scored on a two-run double from Johnson.
Johnson went 2-2 on the day with two RBIs and two walks.
Harriman played Wartburg Tuesday and will end the week with games against Coalfield on Thursday, McMinn Central on Friday and Kingston on Saturday.