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In the past 10 years the Harriman Blue Devils have won district championships, region championships and have advanced to the TSSAA Class A State Tournament three times.
Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, the one they they haven't been able to do during that span is win a TSSAA sectional contest at Unaka and Friday night was no different as the Rangers ended the Devils season for the fifth time this millennium with a 4-1 victory at Twins Stadium in Elizabethton.
The key to Friday's victory for Unaka was right-handed pitcher Josh Peterson as the Ranger ace tossed a one-hitter with 12 strikeouts past the Blue Devils.
“We didn't hit it when we needed to tonight,” Harriman head coach Andy Adcox said following the game. “Peterson was throwing real good tonight.”
Harriman also got a great pitching performance from their ace, Tyler Dishman. Dishman tossed a complete-game four-hitter with three walks and five strikeouts.
“Dishman did a great job on the mound tonight and our guys played their hearts out,” Adcox said. “We had a great year and our guys played all the way through.”
Two of Unaka's hits came in the first inning as Peterson led off the bottom of the first inning with a double and he eventually scored the Rangers' first run.
The score remained 1-0 until the top of the third inning when Harriman picked up their only hit of the game. Cody Barnard drew a two-out walk and scored the run when Mark Chesser followed with a single. Chesser, however, was thrown out at second on the play to end Harriman's inning.
The score remained 1-1 until the bottom of the fourth inning, but that's when Unaka took advantage of Harriman's only error of the game to take the lead for good. With two outs and a runner on second, a fly ball to center field was dropped as Unaka scored the go-ahead run.
Harriman's last scoring chance came in the top of the sixth inning.
Barnard walked with one out and stole second, but a strikeout and ground out to short ended the inning.
Unaka added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning then Peterson struck out the side in the top of the seventh inning to end the Blue Devils season.