Jackets sweep Bell in doubleheader

Published 12:32 pm Monday, April 30, 2018

Middlesboro kept their winning streak alive on Friday when the team traveled to rival Bell County for a doubleheader. The Yellow Jackets swept the Bobcats to extend their current winning streak to seven games dating back to April 13.

While Middlesboro was able to complete the sweep, it was a tale of two games. In the first, Bell County walked 13 batters while allowing nine hits en route to a 19-1 loss. The second game was much different with the Bobcats rallying back from a four-run deficit only to lose 7-4.

Game 1: Middlesboro 19, Bell County 1

Tyler McCullough threw a complete game allowing two hits while striking out 12 batters to help the Yellow Jackets earn a 19-1 victory over Bell County in five inning. The game was never in question as Middlesboro raced out to a 17-0 lead by the second inning.

All but two players in the Jackets’ starting line-up scored multiple runs during the game. Jacob Mike paced Middlesboro going 2-for-3 with three runs before sitting out the final two innings.

Chris Callihan was responsible for three runs after hitting a double. He also reached on a walk and after being hit by a pitch. Braden Ausmus also finished the night with three runs on one hit.

For Bell County, Ethan Brock and Antonio Zachery tallied hits for the Bobcats. Brock went 1-for-3 with one run. Zachery ended the game 1-for-3 as well.

Zachery was credited with the loss after allowing eight runs and six walks through 1 1/3 innings.

A two-run double by Callihan gave Middlesboro a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Two bases-loaded walks allowed Callihan and Jeremiah Wilder to cross home plate to increase the Yellow Jacket lead to 4-0.

The second inning didn’t go well for Bell. Three bases-loaded walks allowed Middlesboro to extend their lead to 7-0 with no outs on the board. A sac-fly by Brad Short increased the lead to 8-0.

The Jackets scored nine more runs before the final out was thrown to balloon the lead to 17-0. Middlesboro added a run in the fourth to increase the lead to 18-0.

Bell County finally got on the board in the bottom half of the fourth. After reaching on a double, Brock made it home on a fielder’s choice to cut the deficit to 18-1.

Stephen Justice scored the final run of the game to give Middlesboro the 18-run victory.

Game 2: Middlesboro 7, Bell County 4

The second game of the evening was much closer than the first. After Middlesboro got off to a strong 4-0 start, Bell County battled back to cut the lead to 5-4 heading into the final inning. With the help of two errors and a walk, the Jackets were able to hold off the Bobcats to earn a 7-4 victory.

Middlesboro garnered six hits on the night with Jacob Spurlock leading the way. He finished the game with one RBI on two hits. Tyler McCullough led the team with two runs after reaching on a fielder’s choice and an error.

Jacob Mike picked up the win on the mound. Through 4 2/3 innings, he allowed four runs and six hits while striking out six batters. Spurlock earned the save allowing two hits and no runs through the final 2 2/3 innings.

Bell County was paced at the plate by Jordan Wombles and DJ Estes. Wombles went 2-for-3 with one run. Estes ended the night with two hits. Ethan Brock, Chandler Mink and JM Baker also scored runs during the game.

Wombles was credited with the loss after allowing four runs on five hits through 1 2/3 innings. Estes and Jason Jones also saw time on the mound.

Spurlock kicked things off with an RBI that gave Middlebsoro a 1-0 lead. An RBI single by Chris Callihan gave the Jackets a 2-0 lead after one. They increased their lead to 4-0 in the second inning after RBI singles from Collier Elkins and Mike.

The Bobcats were able to cut into the lead in the bottom half of the second. After reaching on a single to right field, Mink scored on an RBI single by Estes to narrow the deficit to 4-1.

Middlesboro increased their lead back to four runs in the fourth. McCullough reached on a fielding error before advancing on a walk. He stole third and home to give the Jackets a 5-1 lead.

A big fifth inning brought Bell County back in the game. An RBI double by Brock cut the lead to 5-2. An RBI by Jacob Smith narrowed the deficit to 5-3. An RBI triple by Jones brought the Bobcats within one, 5-4, heading into the sixth inning.

The tide quickly shifted back to Middlesboro in the seventh. Joshua Arnold reached on an error to lead off the inning. With one out on the board, Jones walked two more batters to load the bases.

An infield fly kept the bases loaded with two outs. A throwing error allowed Arnold and Owen McWilliams to score and secure the three-run victory.

Up Next

Bell County (10-5) was slated to play Harlan (3-9) in a doubleheader on Monday.

Middlesboro (12-6) returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to Harlan County (5-6). First game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN