Jackets win district championship

Published 9:52 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Middlesboro grabbed their third district title in as many years on Tuesday. The Jackets combined for eight runs in the first three innings and rode the momentum to a 9-4 victory over Harlan County.

Both Middlesboro and Harlan County advance to the 13th Region Tournament next week after making it to the 52nd District championship game.

The Jackets will either play North Laurel, South Laurel or Barbourville in the first round of the regional tournament. The Black Bears will square off against either Jackson County, Corbin or Knox Central.

Jacob Spurlock picked up the win on the mound after pitching the complete game. He allowed four runs on seven hits. He tossed 10 strikeouts while walking three batters.

At the plate, the Jackets tallied seven hits. Chris Callihan paced the team scoring two runs and tallying one RBI on two hits. Jeremiah Wilder scored two runs courtesy of four walks by Jacob Mike.

Tyler McCullough hit a solo home run on his only hit of the day. Spurlock tallied two RBI and two runs on one hit and one walk.

Benjamin Lewis was credited with the loss for Harlan County after pitching just two-thirds of an inning. During that stint, he allowed three runs on two hits. Caleb Carmical threw the remaining 6 1/3 innings for the Black Bears allowing six runs on five hits.

Cameron Nease led Harlan County with one run on two hits. Ethan Maggard finished with two RBI.

Middlesboro opened the game with a quick three-run rally in the first with two outs on the board. Callihan drove a RBI single to left field to give the Jackets a 1-0 lead. Spurlock’s two-run single increased the lead to 3-0 heading into the second.

Middlesboro added to their lead in a big way in the bottom half of the third. McCullough got things started with a solo home run to increase the lead to 4-0. An RBI by Brad Short widened the margin to 5-0 before Joshua Arnold’s RBI increased the lead to six runs.

Tyshawn Simpson scored on an error before Short crossed home plate to give the Jackets an 8-0 lead.

Harlan County began gaining some steam in the sixth. A bases-loaded walk scored Lewis to cut the lead to 8-1. An RBI by Will Scott cut the deficit to six runs. A two-run single by Maggard narrowed the margin to 8-4.

Chase Elliott capped the game in the bottom half of the sixth. After reaching on a double, the senior outfielder stole home to secure the five-run victory for Middlesboro.

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Several players were named to the all-tournament team. Those players include:

Middlesboro

Tyler McCullough (MVP)

Jacob Mike

Jacob Spurlock

Collier Elkins

Chase Elliott

Harlan County

Cameron Nease

Ben Lewis

Caleb Carmical

Devon Rodrigues

Bell County

DJ Estes

Ethan Brock

Harlan

Will Varner

Will McCarthy

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