In a closely contested game on Sunday, the Middlesboro All-Stars lost to Knox County 8-5. The loss moved Middlesboro’s 9- and 10-year-olds into an elimination game against Pineville on Monday. Knox County moves on to the championship round with no loses.
Middlesboro had a strong first inning to start the game. Daniel Thomas and Ashton Helton scored runs to lead off the inning. Following a strikeout by Cayden Grigsby, Lane Bayless got on base. He would eventually score to give Middlesboro a 3-0 lead.
Xavier Simpson grounded out to second base. Yousiff Nabot struck out for the final out of the inning.
Knox County opened up the game with a strong showing at bat. The lead-off batter and KT Tuttle scored. Cayden Collins was struck out to give the team their first out.
Jacob Osborne also scored a run in the opening inning to tie the game 3-3. Nick Sanders flew out to the shortstop for the second out. RJ Osborne got the final out for Knox County leaving two runners on base.
Middlesboro had a short second inning. Warren Vaught struck out to lead off. Jamarah Young grounded out and Thomas struck out to end the at-bat.
At the bottom of the second inning, Knox County’s Ethan Smith was struck out. The team scored two more runs in the inning before Jacob Lundy and Nick Sanders got out. Collins and Jacob Melborne were left on base.
Knox County led going into the third, 5-3. Neither team was able to get anything going until the bottom of the fourth, where Knox County continued to build on their lead. Tuttle and Collins both scored runs to give Knox County a 7-3 lead.
Middlesboro’s Grigsby cut into Knox lead in the fifth inning after scoring a run of his own, bringing the score to 7-4. Ethan Smith scored the final run for Knox County in the bottom of the fifth, increasing the Knox lead to 8-4.
Middlesboro attempted to stage a comeback in the final inning. Vaught scored to lead off the inning. Young was able to get on base. Connor Mason grounded out following the Young hit.
Both Thomas and Braeden Ferguson struck out to end the game. Knox County walked away with the 8-5 victory.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN