Rain, hail, illness, and injury.
Head coach Ben Downs has to feel like plagues have befallen the Anderson County Mavericks.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this in my coaching career,” he said. “I have eight players out with flu or strep [throat] plus some injuries — and many of them are guys we’re counting on as everyday contributors.”
After a thrilling walk-off win over Knox Central at home on Monday, the Anderson County Mavericks traveled to Central on Tuesday.
The game was tied in the third inning when it was suspended due to heavy thunderstorms, which included downpours of rain and hail in north Knoxville. Before the game was suspended, sophomore Andy Fox injured his ankle on a slide into second base and is expected to miss at least two weeks.
The will resume on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Central.
On Friday, the Mavericks traveled to Ootelwah for the Ootelwah Invitational.
Anderson County opened play with a 6-1 win over Columbia.
The Mavericks pounded out 11 hits in the game and scored five in the second and one in the sixth en route to the win.
Rhett Bowling went 3-4 with an RBI and two runs scored while Denver Hubbard went 2-4 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored. Zeke Meyers and Thomas Sexton each went 2-2.
Ryan Moog got the start and went two innings and allowed one hit with four strikeouts.
Chase Elkins pitched three innings of relief and surrendered only one hit and three strikeouts.
Hubbard closed out the game, going two innings and allowed no earned runs on one hit and three strikeouts.
In their second game on Friday, the Mavericks lost to Mufreesboro Central by a score of 8-5.
Central took the early lead and did not relinquish it as they scored three in the first, two in the fifth, and three in the sixth. The Mavericks scored a run in the third and plated two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings.
Bowling got the start and took the loss. He pitched five and a third innings and allowed six runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
Anderson County had seven hits, all singles. Jackson Muncy and Moog each had a base hit and an RBI. Hubbard, Elkins, Sexton, Trey Noe, and Jonathan Hodge also had hits for the Mavericks.
On Saturday, the Mavericks fell to South Pittsburg by a score of 18-8.
The Pirates scored four in the second and four more in the third before the Mavericks scored four in the bottom of the inning to make it an 8-4 South Pittsburg lead.
The Pirates scored three in the fifth and two in the sixth but the Mavericks added four in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 13-8.
South Pittsburg closed out the game with five runs in the seventh.
Hunter Melton took the loss as he went two and a third innings and allowed six runs on five hits.
At the plate, Noe went 3-4 with a double and four RBI.
Hubbard was 3-4 with a double and three RBI while Bowling went 2-4 with two runs scored.
Sexton, Hodge, Caleb Wilhoit, and Grayson Terry also collected hits for Anderson County in the loss.
The Mavericks closed out the tournament with an 8-3 loss to Franklin County.
The Rebels plated three runs in the first, two in the second, and one in the fourth to lead 6-0 before Anderson County answered with three in the fifth. Franklin County scored two in the bottom of the fifth to end the game.
Muncy took the loss. He went four and two-thirds innings and allowed six earned runs on nine hits with five strikeouts.
Offensively, Hubbard went 2-2 with a triple and an RBI.
Noe was 1-2 with an RBI.
Bowling and Preston Seiber got the only other hits for the Mavericks.
“We didn’t play horrific but we had a lot of guys out. We had a couple of pitchers out that we needed and I’m not making excuses by any means but at the end of the day when you’ve got starters out it doesn’t positively impact your team,” Downs said.
“It is an opportunity for our younger guys to get some experience but it’s tough. The biggest thing with baseball is getting guys playing and getting that rhythm. It’s hard to get that rhythm because our lineup is having to change,” he said.
In addition to the continuation of the suspended game at Central on Wednesday, Anderson County will visit Halls on Friday at 5:30 p.m.