The Corbin Redhounds made it clean sweep in the first-round of the “Sweet 16” of baseball with a 9-1 win over the Pikeville Panthers at Corbin’s House Field.
The Redhounds (29-9) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings then put the game away in the top of the seventh with six-run outburst.
The back to baclk wins in the best of three series sends Corbin to the KHSAA Final Eight where they will play the Boyd County-Perry Central winner.
In the top of the first pitcher Jake Mahan drew a walk then went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Travis Prewitt. Kenny Kysar settled for a one-walk and the two speedsters pulled off a double steal to get into scoring position. Hobe Watkins’ grounder to second enabled Mahan to give his team a 1-0 lead. Josh Hamlin followed with a hard hit ball to second that was booted and the Redhounds led 2-0 when Kysar crossed the plate.
The two runs would be enough to win the game but the Redhounds added a solo run in the top of the second when senior Jake McDaniel walked with one out. He went to second on a throwing error then and to third on a passed ball. He scored on a Clint Cashen sacrifice to deep right field.
The only noise Pikeville was able to make in the two-day run was a solo home run by Chad Walls, who was later tossed from the game in a wild seventh inning.
The only real trouble Mahan got into came in the bottom of the fifth when Cory Miller was hit by a pitch and Josh Adams followed with a single to left field. Expecting a bunt by Cory Hamilton the Redhound defense charge the plate causing the hitter to pop up. Andrew Davis made the play. Wes Robinson then hit into a fielder’s choice eliminating Adams at second. Davis came up with an stellar play when lead off batter, Brandt Sparks lined a hard ball to the Corbin first baseman. He out ran Sparks to the base for the third out of the inning.
“Those were two very big plays,” said Corbin coach Jeff Garmon. “They could have very well made the difference in the game.”
The Panthers (33-6) fell apart in the top of the seventh as Corbin platted six runs to take a 9-1 lead into the bottom of the inning.
“I just wanted to throw strikes and keep the ball down low,” said Mahan, the winning pitcher. “The defense did the job again today. I made tthat one mistake in the second inning.”
Check out the News Journal next week for more highlughts, player comments from Mahan and Travis Prewitt. Check out the photo gallery, featuring photos from Thursday’s action.
Corbin 210 000 6- 9 4 0
Pikeville 010 000 0- 1 3 5
Mahan and Prewitt. Huffman, Anderson and Adams. WP-Mahan, LP-Huffman. HR-Walls (P).