Fans at Charlie Adkins field in Paintsville were treated to a great game Thursday evening when the Pikeville Panthers came to town to take on the Paintsville Tigers. The Tigers came out ahead late in the game to pull of a 4-3 win over the Panthers.
Things got intense right out of the gate when Pikeville’s Kevin Justice hit a leadoff single to left field. Nate Brown was up next to bat, and hit an insiade the park home run. Paintsville’s J.W. Phelps was running for the catch, but made contact with the wall and was down for awhile. This allowed both Justice and Brown to score putting the Panthers up 2-0 just two plays into the game.
The Tigers struggled on offense out of the gate, going three up three down in both the bottom of the first and the second innings.
Things picked up for Paintsville, though, in the bottom of the third. Mason Moore got a free walk to first. Jake Hyden followed with a single. Jaxon Watts managed a double out to center field allowing Moore to score, making it 2-1.
Ben Daniels grounded out to third. That should have been an easy out at first, but the ball shot up before it could get to Pikeville’s third baseman and allowed Hyden to score to tie things up a 2-2. Seth Williams singled allowing Watts to score to give Paintsville the lead, 3-2.
Pikeville would come back with a strong effort in the top of the fourth with Grayson Harris scoring a run to tie the game at 3-3.
The game mostly became a defensive standoff until things erupted in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs and the score tied up, Ryan Gibson came up to the plate and hit a massive home run lifting the Tigers up to a 4-3 lead.
With one final chance, Pikeville’s Tanner Hamilton started off the batting for the Panthers in the top of the seventh. Hamilton struck out. Kevin Justice was up next, and struck out. The final hope for the Panthers was Brown. After hitting a foul ball, Brown hit a shot out to right field that was caught for the final out of the game giving the Tigers the 4-3 win over the Panthers.
Matt Combs picked up the win on the mound for the Tigers. Combs threw two and 2/3 innings of relief and didn’t allow any runs and only one hit, while striking out three and walking one. Ryan Moore got the start for the Tigers. He tossed four and 1/3 innings of work and gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits, while striking out two batters.
Pikeville’s Tait Lakin suffered the loss for the Panthers. Lakin threw three innings of work and gave up one run on one hit, while striking out four batters. Christian Tackett got the start on the mound for the Panthers. He threw three innings of work and gave up three runs on four hits.
Paintsville (18-9) is scheduled to visit Rockcastle County at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.
Pikeville (12-10) is scheduled to visit Magoffin County Monday at 6:00 p.m.