The Middlesboro Yellow Jackets are one win away from their second straight 13th Region All “A” title.
MHS advanced to Thursday’s championship game at Williamsburg with a 14-2 drubbing of Lynn Camp in the semifinals. Williamsburg defeated Barbourville 10-8 in the other semifinal Tuesday.
“We feel like we ought to win it every year,” Middlesboro coach Billy Powell said of the All “A”. “In passed years Williamsburg has been a stumbling block for us. Baseball can be a funny game and anybody can win on a given night so we’re not taking anything for granted.”
The Jackets (5-3) put up eight runs in the top of the first inning and rolled to a quick five inning win at Lynn Camp (2-4). They added five more in the second and pulled most of their starters for the bottom of the inning.
Middlesboro needed just seven hits to score all 14 runs and they came from seven different players.
Sophomore second baseman Austin Baker was hit by a pitch leading off the game, advanced to second on a passed ball and stole third.
Sophomore Thomas Epperson was also hit by a pitch. He stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball as Baker scored the first run.
Senior center fielder Jake Partin’s fly ball to center was deep enough to score Epperson to make it 2-0.
Evan Womack singled and out later Bubba Brock walked. Timmy Helton and Jessy McDaniels both reached on errors as three more runs came home.
Kendall Ferguson walked and stole second then two runs scored as Baker reached on an error. Epperson added an RBI double to complete the eight-run first.
Epperson was scheduled to start the game on the mound, but hit in the head by an attempted pick-off throw after his double. He left the field dizzy and freshman Michael Wilson pitched the first three innings for the Jackets without allowing a hit or run.
McDaniels added a two-run double and Baker a two-run single in the second as the MHS lead went to 13-0.
The other hits for Middlesboro were singles by Partin, Chris Short and Nick Capps.
Epperson was able to take the mound for the final two innings and gave up two runs on two hits.
The 13th Region All “A” championship game is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Williamsburg (5-5). The winner will take on a team from the 14th Region in a one-game sectional for a berth in the state tournament at Applebee’s Ballpark in Lexington.
“Our goal is to win this All ‘A’ region and get to Applebee’s,” Powell said. “Then we want to win the big region and get back there at the end of the season.”
— — —
Middlesboro 851 00 — 14 7 0
Williamsburg 000 20 — 2 2 7
Wilson, Epperson (4) and Brock; Solis, Person (2), Steel (5) and Tidwell. W — Wilson. L — Solis.