Pikeville got off to a slow start, but once the bats got going, the Panthers put district rival Shelby Valley away 13-3 Thursday night.
The Panthers got in one last game before taking on Lexington Christian in the All “A” Classic state tournament in Owensboro on Saturday.
Shelby Valley got going first. With one out, Hunter Mullins reached on an error for the Wildcats. Lincoln Taylor followed with a single to put runners on second and third with one out; Taylor advanced to second on the throw to third base.
Samuel Brown followed by reaching on an error and both runners scored to give Shelby Valley a 2-0 run after the top of the fist.
Heading into the home half of the inning, Pikeville’s Tate Walters got things going with a stand-up triple. Tate Lakin followed with a sacrifice-fly RBI to cut the lead to 2-1.
That wasn’t the end of the inning for the Panthers, though. Logan Windle reached on an error and Blake Birchfield walked to. Dylan Thompson followed with a dribbler off the end of the bat. It was a slow roller that none of the Wildcats could make a play on and Thompson ended up at first with an RBI single to tie things up at 2-2. With runners on first and third, a balk allowed the third run of the inning to cross the plate and give Pikeville a 3-2 lead after one inning of play.
The Panthers added another run in the bottom of the second inning. With a runner on and two outs, Walters stepped to the plate and delivered an RBI single to push the lead to 4-2.
Pikeville added three more runs in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Windle drew a walk. With two outs, Thompson drew a walk to put two runners on. Patrick Jones followed with an RBI single.
With two on and two outs, Jake Lowe followed with a ground-rule RBI double to push the lead to 7-2.
Neither team scored any runs in the fourth inning.
In the top of the fifth, Brown was hit-by-a-pitch to start things off for the Wildcats. Brady Bentley followed by drawing a walk. Riley Newsome slowed Shelby Valley’s momentum as he hit into a four-six-three double play.
With two outs, Jordan Ratliff drew a walk. With runners on first and third, Ratliff stole second and the throw went into the outfield allowing the third Shelby Valley run to score to cut the lead to 7-3.
Pikeville ended things in the bottom of the fifth inning. Birchfield and Thompson drew walks to start the inning. Jones reached bunt single to load the bases. Lowe drove home two runs with a single to push the lead to 9-3. Sam Wright followed with a two-run RBI single as well as the lead grew to 11-3.
Wade Hensley followed with a walk. Walters laid down a sac-bunt to push both runners into scoring position. Lakin drew an intentional walk to load the bases.
With the bases loaded and one out, Windle ended the game with a walk-off two RBI single.
All “A” Classic
Pikeville’s Tate Lakin was having himself a game on the mound and at the plate Saturday, until the Panthers gave up four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Pikeville fell to Lexington Christian 7-3 in the All “A” Classic quarterfinals in Owensboro.
Lakin got the start on the mound and was trailing 3-1, until the top of the fifth inning. Lakin tied things up with a two-run home run.
The next inning out, Lakin left the mound trailing 5-3 with the bases loaded. Coleton Tackett came in to relieve Lakin.
The Panthers’ first run came off of an RBI single from Jake Lowe in the top of the fourth.
Pikeville gave up two more runs in the inning as the Eagles advanced past the Panthers in the All “A” Classic.
Pikeville (7-7) is scheduled to visit Boyd County at 6:00 p.m. Friday.