Jackets complete comeback with 6-5 win
Published 12:26 am Thursday, April 19, 2018
For what felt like the first time this season, Middlesboro got the timely hit when they needed it on Wednesday when they hosted Perry County Central. After falling behind 5-3 following a two-run homer in the sixth, the Jackets rallied in the seventh with a walk-off RBI single by Tyler McCullough sealing the 6-5 victory for the Jackets.
“We faced some pretty good pitching tonight. We needed to face some teams like that, some good competition and see some better pitching,” said Middlesboro coach John Smith. “We get down, the guys keep their head up. (Jacob Mike) kept us in the game on the mound.
“We come up in the bottom of the seventh. The bottom of the line-up came through and we got two men on base. (Their) pitcher hit one, loads them up, and we just found a way to win. Guys stayed in and battled. We’ve been hitting the ball right at people all year long…and haven’t been able to find a hole anywhere. We were able to (tonight) in the seventh inning.”
The ending of the game was bitter sweet for Middlesboro as Chase Elliott’s game-winning slide across home plate ended with him injuring what appeared to be his shoulder after making contact with the catcher.
Jacob Spurlock led Middlesboro at the plate going 2-for-3 including a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth that helped the Jackets tie the game at 3-all. Elliott finished with two hits including an RBI in the seventh that helped tie the game.
All together, the Jackets finished with 12 hits.
Spurlock earned the win on the mound allowing one hit and two runs through two innings. Jacob Mike started the game and allowed three hits and three runs through five innings.
Perry County Central was paced by the hot bat of Brody Dixon. The senior infielder went 2-for-3 with back-to-back home runs. He finished the day with two runs and three RBIs. It was a rough night for the remainder of the Commodores as the team tallied only five total hits.
Ryan Couch picked up the loss after allowing nine hits and all six runs through 2 1/3 innings.
It was a pitching duel for the first two innings of the game with both teams being held scoreless. Perry Central was the first to get on the board in the third. Zack Gayheart reached on a single before advancing on a bunt. He reached third on a passed ball and scored on the Dylan Fields RBI to put the Commodores ahead 1-0.
Perry Central increased their lead to three runs in the fourth. A lead-off home run by Dixon increased the lead to 2-0 before Camron Turner scored on a passed ball to widen the margin to 3-0.
Middlesboro found momentum in the fifth inning. With two outs on the board, the Commodores brought in Couch for relief. After Tyler McCullough was hit with a pitch, Mike reached on a single. Spurlock beamed a shot over the left-field fence to tie the game at 3-3.
The Jackets brought Spurlock to the mound at the top of the sixth. Brody smacked a two-run homer over the right-center fence to put Perry Central back ahead 5-3 heading into the bottom half of the inning.
Middlesboro rallied in the seventh. With three runners on base, Elliott laid down a bunt to score Joshua Arnold. In the same sequence, Brandon Helton scored on a throwing error to tie the game at 5-5.
With one out on the board and runners on first and second, McCullough hit the walk-off RBI single to hand the Jackets the victory.
Middlesboro (7-6) will host Claiborne, Tennessee at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Perry County Central (10-1) will host Rockcastle County (7-2) on Saturday.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN