Six outs away from elimination, the South Laurel Cardinals rallied with a run in the sixth inning and another in the seventh to edge Knox Central 3-2 in the opening game of the 13th Region Tournament at Harlan County High School
“It’s tournament time, and it’s always fun,” South Laurel coach Winn Harris said. “There’s an old say, survive and advance. It was a well-play game overall, but we made some mistakes that put them back into the game. They still could have scored a couple of runs in that inning, but we helped them. I was really pleased with the way they stayed with their plan and went up there and had a good at bat. It came down to two guys who threw really well.”
Trey Martin, a junior right-hander, pitched a five-hitter with five strikeouts and four walks to earn the victory.
Junior shortstop Daniel Neal, who has committed to the University of Tennessee, drove in the tying run with a single and scored the winning run after a single to lead off the seventh inning. Martin scored the Cardinals’ first run after doubling, then drove home the winning run with a single. Zach Allen, a junior first baseman, added an RBI double. Joe Gaines and Braden Miller contributed singles.
Zach Earls led Knox Central with a double. Jaxon Stewart, Drew Mills and Hunter McRight contributed singles.
Seth Hill, a freshman righthander, gave up two runs on six hits in six innings with five strikeouts and two walks. Evan Lay suffered the loss as he allowed one run on one hit in 2/3 of an inning.
South Laurel broke open the scoreless game in the third inning. Martin doubled with two outs and scored when Neal hit a single up the middle.
Knox Central scored twice in the fifth inning as Earls led off with a walk, moved to second on Trevor Sanborn’s sacrifice and third on Stewart’s single. Mills laid down a good bunt down the third base line that Braden Miller fielded and then threw wildly past first base, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
The Cardinals pulled even in the sixth as Neal singled and scored on Allen’s double down the left field line. Allen was caught rounding the base too far, a costly mistakes after Braden Miller followed with a single. Derek Spurlock walked to open the seventh inning and moved to second on Austin Vigeant’s sacrifice. Courtesy runner Tucker Martin scored the game winning run on Martin’s two-out single.
Knox Central000 020 0 — 2 4 1
South Laurel001 001 1 — 3 7 2
Hill and Imel; Martin and Morris. WP — Martin. LP — Hill.