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High School Baseball Team

High School Baseball Seniors

Coach: Mr. Josh Petty

Assistant Coaches:  , Logan Brown

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Jr. Bucs Get Past Rangers in Eight Innings
Go, Bucs!  The following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:

University High
Jr. Bucs get past Rangers in eight innings
Douglas Fritz • Updated May 8, 2017 at 11:50 PM

University High picked a good time for a dramatic win.

After both the Buccaneers and Unaka were held scoreless for seven innings, UH broke through for three runs in the top of the eighth. They made it stand up for a 3-2 win in the winners' bracket semifinals of the District 1-A baseball tournament Monday at David Crockett's field.

"This was a big win for our program," said UH head coach Josh Petty. "In the last four or five years, we've been on the other end of those 3-1, 3-2 games. It's nice to be on this end and finally get one."

UH (20-7) will face North Greene or Hampton in the winners' bracket final Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Unaka (17-8) meets the loser at 5 p.m.

Jack Bembry drew a walk to start the top of the eight inning, and Hunter Seehorn followed with a line drive hit to put runners on the corners. Carter Pollock hit a sacrifice fly to give UH a 1-0 lead.

Jacob Hare and Brant Hare delivered back-to-back RBI hits to stretch the lead to 3-0.

Those extra runs were necessary as Unaka struck for two runs in the bottom half. Blake King hit a one-out triple and scored on a wild pitch. Hunter Rice later added an RBI single, and the Rangers had runners on first and second with two outs.

However, Bembry closed the door with his eighth strikeout of the game. Bembry went the distance, allowing six hits.

Cas Blevins, Hunter Seehorn, Brant Hare and Jake Oligney each had two hits to pace the Buccaneers at the plate.

John Ramsey was the tough-luck loser for the Rangers. He went 7 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits, three runs, and striking out seven batters.

"Both pitchers threw quality games," said Petty. "There weren't very many situations throughout the game with runners in scoring position. Both guys were pretty dominant."

Simerly Lifts UH to Walk-off Win
Press Article from Johnson City Press:

Simerly lifts UH to walk-off win
Dave Ongie • Updated April 25 at 9:49 PM

University High's baseball team knocked off Watauga Valley Conference co-leader Unaka on Tuesday evening inside Thomas Stadium.

A.J. Simerly gave the Bucs a walk-off 3-2 victory on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning, driving in Jake Oligny with the winning run. Oligny started the rally with a double.

"Jake Oligny came up big for us tonight," said UH coach Josh Petty. "He has taken a lot of pride this year in his approach at the plate. I'm just excited for him and proud of him."

Carter Pollock and Cas Blevins had UH's other two RBIs. Pollock drove home the Bucs' first run of the game with an RBI single in the first while Blevins had a sac fly to put UH up 2-1 in the fifth inning.

Jack Bembry had a solid day on the mound, allowing just two runs on six hits with six strikeouts.



Bucs Rally For Win Over Hampton
Bucs Rally For Win Over Hampton....The following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:

High School Spring Sports
Feathers' touch lifts Hilltoppers past David Crockett
Douglas Fritz • Updated Yesterday at 11:39 PM

University High 7, Hampton 5

Trailing 5-0, the Buccaneers rallied for four runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth.

Carter Pollock and Hunter Seehorn each had three hits to pace the UH attack. Jake Oligney added two hits and two RBIs, including the go-ahead hit in the sixth inning. Jakob Hare also had two hits.

Cas Blevins battled through some rough spots to earn the complete-game win. He gave up nine hits and five runs, three earned, while striking out six.

Wyatt Lyons carried the authoritative stick for the Bulldogs, going 3 for 4 with an RBI.


University High Hangs On To Beat Hampton In Baseball
The following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:

University High hangs on to beat Hampton in baseball
Douglas Fritz • April 18 at 10:12 PM

University High had a tight one, but the Buccaneers held on at the finish to continue their winning ways.

After scoring six times in the second inning to take a 6-0 lead, the Buccaneers earned a tough 7-6 win over Hampton in a Watauga Valley Conference road baseball game Tuesday.

It was University High's 10th win in its last 11 games.

Hampton rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh — one of them on a two-out RBI single from Wyatt Lyons — and had the potential tying run on third base before UH pitcher Jakob Hare induced a game-ending groundout.

Jake Oligney had two hits and two RBIs while Cas Blevins had two hits, including a two-run double in the second inning. Carter Pollock, Brant Hare and A.J. Simerly each added two hits for UH, which improved to 4-2 in league play and 12-5 overall.


Cas Blevins - Great American Player of the Week Award
Congratulations to Cas Blevins, Great American Player of the Week!  

News Article:

You heard it first this morning with Bobby and Kenny on The Monster!

There were a ton of great nominations, and this week our Great American Players of the Week really stood out!  Our winners this week combined to 19-21 at the plate last week. 
Cas Blevins' numbers from University High are so good they don't even seem real.  11-12 on the week with 5 doubles, a home run, 8 RBI and 7 runs scored.  He also tossed a 2 hit shutout against South Greene on Tuesday.  Outstanding week!


Can Somebody Get This Dude Out?
The following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:

High school notes

Can somebody get this dude out?
Douglas Fritz • April 17 at 5:36 PM

There is hot, and there is red hot. And then there's Cas Blevins.

University High's junior leadoff hitter is putting up PlayStation numbers this season.

Over his last three baseball games, Blevins has gone 11 for 12. Tack on a hit in his last at-bat in the previous game, and it's 12 for 13. To put that stretch in some perspective, collecting 16 consecutive hits would be one of the top 10 performances all-time in the national history of high school baseball.

Heading into Monday's game against Hampton, Blevins was hitting a ridiculous .648 for the season, going 35 for 62. He could go eight straight at-bats without a hit and his average would still be .500. He has 11 doubles, four triples and one home run to go along with 26 RBIs and 24 runs scored.

"He is not getting cheap hits," said UH head coach Josh Petty. "He's squaring up everything."

Blevins said one of the keys for him was his offseason work. Then it comes down to individual plate appearances.

"I try to have a good approach every at-bat," said Blevins. "I've been seeing the ball really well this year, especially the last couple of weeks."

And it helps, Blevins said, that the team has been winning. UH (11-5) has won nine of its last 10 games with the only loss coming against Class AAA David Crockett.

"It makes it easy when you are having fun and winning, and putting up runs like we are this season," said Blevins. "It seems like every time I come up, there are runners on all over the place. This recent stretch our team is on, our confidence is really high."

Blevins pitches, too. He is 4-1, drawing four of his seven starts on the mound against Class AA or Class AAA teams. He has an ERA of 2.76, a WHIP of 1.182, and a 27-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 33 innings.

"Cas has been a stage setter all year for us in the leadoff spot as well as defensively on the mound and in center field," said Petty.

But Blevins isn't all about the ball field, either. He's getting it done in the classroom as well with a 3.9 grade-point average, and is a member of the beta, math and key clubs.

"He's one of the most humble and genuine kids I've had the pleasure of coaching in my 17 years at University High," said Petty.



Blevins Went 4-for-4, Hare Drove in Three Runs and Pollock Drove in Two
Victory is oh, so sweet!  The following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:
High School Spring Sports
Late goal lifts Boone past rival Pioneers
Dave Ongie • Updated Apr 13, 2017 at 10:07 PM

University High 12, West Greene 0

Cas Blevins went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs to lead the Bucs past West Greene.

Jakob Hare drove in three runs and Carter Pollock drove in two. Hare threw a one-hit shutout, striking out seven and issuing just one walk.


Cas Blevins Fired a Two-hit Shutout To Help Lead the Bucs to Victory

Cas Blevins Fired a Two-hit Shutout To Help Lead the Bucs to Victory
Victory continues for Bucs Baseball!  The following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:

High School Spring Sports
Ferguson fires no-hitter, Boone wins 17th straight
Dave Ongie • Updated Apr 11, 2017 at 9:52 PM

University High 10, South Greene 0

Cas Blevins fired a two-hit shutout to help lead the Bucs to victory.

Blevins also starred at the plate for University High, going 3-for-3 with a home run, a double and five RBIs.


Bembry Pitched With Authority Monday Afternoon
Another UH Baseball Victory!  The following article was printed in the Johnson City Press:

High School Spring Sports
High school roundup: Joyner helps Johnson County defeat Happy Valley
Douglas Fritz • Updated Today at 7:47 AM

University High 10, South Greene 0

Jack Bembry pitched with authority Monday afternoon.

The Buccaneers' hurler tossed a five-hit shutout, striking out nine and walking only one.

Cas Blevins led the way at the plate, hitting two doubles and totaling four hits. Carter Pollock had three hits while A.J. Simerly added two hits and two RBIs. Also for UH, Brant Hare totaled two RBIs.


The Buccaneers swept the double dip
Go, Bucs, Go!

The following articles were printed in the Johnson City Press:

High School Spring Sports
Roundup: Science Hill soccer on the rise
Douglas Fritz • Updated Mar 30, 2017 at 11:27 PM

University High 5-9, Washburn 3-0

The Buccaneers swept the double dip, getting good performances from Jakob Hare and Brant Hare.

Jakob Hare tossed a shutout in the 9-0 win, and added two hits and two RBIs while Jake Oligney added two RBIs. Brant Hare totaled two RBIs in that game, and got the win in the 5-3 contest.

Carter Pollock had a total of five RBIs in the twinbill, including a four-RBI game in the 5-3 win. UH improved to 5-4 on the season.

High School Spring Sports
Varghese wraps up big weekend at Tri-Cities Track Classic
Dave Ongie • Apr 1, 2017 at 10:12 PM

University High 13, Stone Memorial 2

University High 13, Gatlinburg Pittman 0

The Bucs breezed past a pair of team in Gatlinburg.

Cas Blevins threw a one-hitter for UH in the opener and went 2-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs.

Brant Hare went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, Jack Bembry drove in a pair of runs and Carter Pollock finished with a pair of hits for the Bucs.

In the nightcap, Bembry threw the shutout while Pollock smacked four hits, drove in two runs and scored twice. Brant Hare had three hits with three RBIs while Blevins had three hits and drove in two runs.

Bembry helped himself with two hits and two RBIs while Jakob Hare drove in two runs.

High school notes
Baseball pitch-count rule moving to the forefront
Douglas Fritz • Apr 3, 2017 at 7:10 PM

With two forfeits already on the books because of violations of the TSSAA's new pitch-count rule in baseball, potential problems could arise when district tournaments begin.

Walker Valley forfeited a 3-1 victory against Bradley Central while Riverside lost a win by the same margin against Adamsville. In Walker Valley's case, it was a misinterpretation of the rule, TSSAA assistant director Gene Menees told The Tennessean. However, Adamsville earned the win because it was the home team and the official pitch-count counter.

"When two schools can't agree, we go with the home team's number," said Menees. "We went with the home team (Adamsville), which in that case caused Riverside to forfeit."

Looking ahead to the district tournaments, it's easy to see the potential for an issue — especially when the difference between a 75th pitch and a 76th pitch could be the difference in using a top pitcher for the championship game. Pitchers must be given three days of rest after throwing 76-119 pitches, two days after 56-75 and one day after 25-55.

So if a pitcher throws that 76th pitch on a Monday, and the championship game is Thursday, he can't even pitch to one batter in the title game. And of course, there are going to be disagreements on how many pitches have been thrown, especially when seasons are on the line.

"We have not come across any major issues this early in the season," said Daniel Boone head coach Rob Hoover. "I believe, potentially, once teams enter into the district tournament there could be an issue."

Interestingly enough, the TSSAA does not have a hard-and-fast rule for how the pitches are counted.

"It could be the higher seed," said Menees. "In the postseason, they could hire a person to keep up with the pitch count."

University High head coach Josh Petty said one thing that could lessen the likelihood of postseason problems is the current process of checking pitch counts between innings.

"I have a coach who works on getting that information between innings, so the total will be as accurate as possible," said Petty. "However, it can be difficult for both counters to be exact."

A coach could inadvertently double-click the counter, or get distracted by a line-drive hit or big strikeout. Or perhaps a pitcher throws to home plate as the umpire is calling timeout. This could unintentionally get counted as a pitch.

Unicoi County head coach Chad Gills said checking between innings may not solve everything, but could solve one thing.

"It could still lead to disagreements," said Gillis. "The only difference is it would be caught before a forfeit was forced."

Gillis said the coaches will be under a different type of pressure when postseason arrives. When every pitch counts, so to speak, the decision to throw one or two more to win the current game could greatly impact a team's immediate future.

"I think coaches will have to take a different approach when playing so many meaningful games in a short amount of time," said Gillis. "I can see coaches using multiple pitchers in games, which could allow for even more mistakes on pitch counts."

And one number that could be the most harmful for teams in the postseason is 25. It's not unusual for a relief pitcher to rack up that many tosses in a high-stress inning of work. So a closer-type pitcher couldn't be used the next day if he throws 25 pitches in a game.

Imagine a district-championship-round game where a closer has thrown 24 pitches. Two outs. Bases loaded. 3-2 count. 5-4 lead. And the coach has to consider removing his ace from the mound to have him available for the if-necessary game.

"That's a tough one," said Gillis. "That's when you have to look at what's next: who you have left to throw, who you might see in the regional, or can your offense out-hit the opponent in the next game."

UH Knocks The Cover Off Of Cougars
Johnson City Press Article

UH knocks the cover off of Cougars
Douglas Fritz • Updated March 30 at 12:18 AM

University High broke loose at the plate, and Sullivan Central paid the price.

The Buccaneers ripped 18 hits, including three hits and five RBIs from Hunter Seehorn, in an 18-3 victory over the Class AAA school Wednesday in Blountville.

"Seehorn has been a backstop for me all year, and his plate production is starting to match it," said Petty. "Everybody contributed to a nice win."

Also having a big day at the plate was Cas Blevins, who had a single, double, triple, four RBIs, and scored four runs.

"Cas has picked up where he left off last year," said Petty. "When you make a mistake he usually takes advantage of the at-bat."

Jakob Hare added three hits and drove in three runs while Jake Oligney, Carter Pollock and Esau Byrd had two hits and two RBIs each. Brant Hare added two hits.

Jack Bembry got win the mound.

"Jack pitched a great game," said Petty. "He stayed within himself after giving up two early runs."


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High School Baseball Meeting and Tryouts
There will be a Baseball Parent meeting on Tuesday, August 15th, at 5:30 p.m., in the University School Library.  If you have any questions, please email Coach Petty at .
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