Jackets earn 10-5 victory over Cumberland Gap

Published 12:33 pm Monday, March 25, 2019

The Middlesboro Yellow Jackets notched their first win of the young baseball season at home on Friday against the Cumberland Gap Panthers, 10-5.

“I think the win will help us with our confidence moving forward,” said Middlesboro head coach John Smith. “We are about to travel to Myrtle Beach for the Cal Ripken Experience on spring break, and we are going to face some very very good competition down there. We are hoping to win a few games in the 13th Region All “A” Classic tournament ahead of the trip to South Carolina to help us polish up some of the things we need to.

“I thought Chris (Callihan) pitched a really good game for us against Cumberland Gap. We played great defense, and I’m just very pleased with our effort. I’m proud of the team. We have a long season ahead of us, but if we can fix a few minor errors that we have, I really think we are capable of doing some good things. We’ve got a lot of young guys that are really stepping up for us this season. If we can continue to develop in those areas, we will be right where we want to be.”

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Middlesboro got off to a good start in Friday’s match-up. Heading into the fourth inning, the Jackets held a one-run lead on the Panthers before opening up a three-run fourth inning to permanently give themselves the lead. The Jackets held the Panthers to a lone late-game run from the fourth inning on, securing a five-run victory and their first win of the season.

Senior pitcher Chris Callihan took to the mound for the Yellow Jackets, pitching 5 innings — allowing four runs on five hits, three walks, and two earned runs. Middlesboro called on freshman Tyler Harris to close out the game. In two innings, Harris totaled one run on two hits, one walk and zero earned runs.

Collier Elkins had three hits on four at-bats, three runs and two RBI. Tyshawn Simpson had two hits and three runs on three at-bats with two RBI. Braden Ausmus added one RBI on one hit and three at-bats. Lane Perry added one RBI on two at-bats from the DH position. Shawn North added two RBI on two hits in three at-bats. Jeremiah Wilder added one RBI.

Middlesboro is back in action against Williamsburg in the opening round of the 13th Region All “A” Classic, rescheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Middlesboro.