Sophmore Throws A No-No; Tribe Baseball Wins 1-0

Dee WilcoxAnalyst IMarch 9, 2017

KINGSPORT -- Dobyns-Bennett sophomore pitcher Kyle Brandon walked the first John Battle Trojan hitter he faced to lead off the game, but that was the only Trojan to reach base in the 1-0 D-B victory as Brandon threw a no-hitter.

Center fielder Josh Osborne was the man who reached, but Indian shortstop Jamie Crawford backhanded a hot shot deep in the hole between short and third off the bat of John Battle 2B/P Tim Arnold to start the double play that would erase Osborne and end the first inning and allow Kyle Brandon to face the minimum of 21 batters to achieve the 21 outs over the seven-inning game.

“It is really good for our team to have a chance for John Battle come down and for us to play against a good powerhouse from Southwest Virginia,” explained D-B assistant coach Ryan Wagner. “We knew they’d be a good test for us today. They haven’t played as many games as us; their season starts later and their playoffs are later than ours, but you always see John Battle playing in the playoffs.

"Coach (Larry) Cannon had been at Pigeon Forge and been very successful taking that program consistently to the state, so we knew this would be a real good team. Kyle (Brandon) went the distance for us Saturday in getting the win (4-3 over Gate City) and we needed him to give us to give us some innings today, so we could save some pitching in getting ready for this weekend.”

Brandon achieved all 21 outs of the no-hitter without an out being recorded in the outfield. He struck out seven, earned nine ground ball outs, and coaxed four infield pop-ups out of the Trojan’s bats (one out was recorded as a force out on the front end of the first inning double play).

The Indians put base runners on board in every inning except the third. The left the bases loaded in the first; had runners at first and second with one out in the second, but left them stranded; left runners at the corners in the fourth; and again stranded bases loaded in the sixth. The Indians came up with eight hits in the game, drew four walks, and had another batter reach base safely on an error and the Tribe left 12 runners on base and scored one run.

In the fifth inning, SS Jamie Crawford led off the inning with a single between first and second (Crawford was 3-4 on the night). Crawford went to third on a double by 1B Justin Trent (his 11th double of the year to lead the team), and with one out, D-B 2B Nick Loughry hit a grounder to the Trojans' 1B Taryn Hayden that took Hayden to his right a few steps to field. He threw to the plate, but Crawford slid under the tag of C Jerry Jones and the Indians took a 1-0 lead. D-B would leave runners at second and third in the fifth inning, but the run by Crawford held up as the winning run with the masterful pitching of Kyle Brandon.

“Kyle (Brandon) was in complete control tonight, obviously” said D-B pitching coach Josh Warner. “He walked the lead-off hitter and then only had three or four other hitters that he even went to two balls on. He threw strikes and did a great job keeping the ball low in the strike zone. He was so good with his cutter we only used his curve maybe three times all game. Kyle has improved each of his last four outings. He is a great kid and works real hard. Kyle has a ton of potential and is only going to get better. He really went after the hitters, worked quickly, and really did a good job with his control.”

Added Warner: “We put a bunch of people on base, we just need to get them in. We hit the ball hard and Battle made some fine defensive plays, but if we can just get a couple of those hits with guys on base, we can and will score some runs.

“Tomorrow (Thursday) is Senior Night and we have four seniors who have done a great job for us (Miles Chase, Trevor McNew, Garrett Rich, Lane Taylor). They are great kids and outstanding leaders for this team. They have worked hard and taught the other guys how to work hard and we hope to have great crowd out here tomorrow night to congratulate them on outstanding careers; they deserve the support and we hope to see the fans out showing their support for the seniors and the team.

“Kyle did a great job tonight, real proud of him; tomorrow is another opportunity for us to get better and that is what we are working to try to do.”

Brandon threw only 68 pitches in the game and is now 4-2 on the season, 2-0 against teams from Southwest Virginia.

D-B plays host to Sullivan North on Thursday at J. Fred Johnson Stadium for Senior Night with the first pitch being scheduled for 6 p.m. Senior Miles Chase will start for the Indians.

D-B, 13-16, will play Sullivan South, Saturday at 6 p.m., in the District Tournament at Cardinal Park in Johnson City.

John Battle 000 000 0 -- 0 0 1
Dobyns-Bennett 000 010 0 -- 1 8 0

Denton, Johnson (5), Arnold (6), and Jones; Brandon and Millsap