Jackets start All ‘A’ with rout

Jay Compton jcompton@civitasmedia.com

March 19, 2014

The Middlesboro Yellow Jackets needed just six hits to put up 19 runs in Tuesday’s 19-3 win over Oneida Baptist Institute in the first round of the 13th Region All “A” Classic.

Jacket coach John Smith said reclaiming the All “A” regional championship is an important goal for this year’s team.

“We had won it four straight times up until last year when somebody (Williamsburg) knocked us off in the championship game,” he said. “All of these guys were on that team and they’ve all got a little fire in their eye wanting some revenge. They’re ready to get back to the sectional and go one and play at Whitaker Bank.”

The game was originally scheduled for Monday at OBI, but had to be postponed due to rain. It was moved to Middlesboro for better playing conditions, though the Jackets played as the visiting team.

Middlesboro took advantage of 16 walks, eight errors and a couple of hit batters to put the game away in just three innings.

Junior Tyler Yoakum struck out five of the six batters he faced in two perfect innings to get the win. Yoakum also singled and doubled and drove home two runs in the game.

Jake Brock led off the game with a bunt single and stole second. Brandon Hale walked and then took second on a throwing error as Brock scored. John Millett walked and Yoakum followed with a two-run single to make it 3-0. Courtesy runner Van Ball would later score on a passed ball. Matthew Mike walked, stole second and scored as Lucas Crawford reached on an error to complete the scoring in the top of the first.

The Jackets added eight runs in the top of the second. Hale had an RBI single and Cole Frazier drove in a run with a ground out in the innings while Yoakum added a double and Millett singled as the lead grew to 13-0 after two.

Middlesboro started subbing in players in the third inning, but the runs kept coming. Crawford singled for the only hit in the inning while Scotty Brooks reached on an error after hitting a drive to right. Jonathan Partin was hit by a pitch and Dillon Spade walked to force in the final two runs as the Jackets took a 19-0 lead.

Hunter Collett took over for Yoakum for the bottom of the third and struck out the first two batters he faced. Omar Perreira walked with two out and Ivan Gonzales was hit by a pitch. McKevin King then reached one error and another error allowed all three runners to score. Nathaniel Miller singled for the Mountaineers’ only hit but Collett came back with another strikeout to end the game at 19-3.

Middlesboro (3-1) will play at the winner of Wednesday’s Barbourville-Lynn Camp game in Thursday’s semifinals. Williamsburg defeated Pineville 10-6 in Tuesday’s other first round game, those Yellow Jackets will play either Harlan or Jackson County in the opposite semifinal.

Oneida Baptist (0-1) plays at Wolfe County on Thursday.

— — —

Middlesboro 586 19 6 2
Oneida Baptist

113 3 1 8
Tyler Yoakum, Hunter Collett (3) and Cole Frazier; Daniel Decker, Nathaniel Miller (2), Clay Bowers (3) and Eric Grant. W — Yoakum (1-0). L — Decker.