The Whitley County Colonels came back from a two-run deficit in the seventh inning to pull out a 14-8 victory over North Laurel in the first round of the 13th Region Baseball Tournament on Saturday.
The Colonels strung together four singles with four walks, and two errors to push across eight runs in the inning.
“I told our guys to just be us,” said Whitley County Coach Jeremy Shope of what he told the team going into what could have been, potentially, their last at-bat of the season. “We had been in these situations many times this season. “We’ve had to come from behind in the late innings. They were prepared for that moment. We just had to execute.”
Grant Zehr gave up a leadoff hit to North Laurel in the bottom of the inning, but got the next two outs, before RJ Osborne came on to get the last out.
Shope said while the Colonels have had stellar pitching throughout the regular season, that shouldn’t be seen as a preview of the post season.
“Post season comes and you can throw out all the stats,” Shope said. “Guys are competing because they don’t want their season to end.”
The Colonels will be back in action at 5:30 p.m. Monday, facing off against Knox Central in the semifinals.
Officials at host Jackson County High School said Monday afternoon that the games would go on as scheduled.
The winner will play the winner of Middlesboro versus Jackson County Tuesday night for the 13th Region Title and a spot in the state tournament.
Shope said his team is focused on Knox Central.
“We approach every game with a one-game-at-a-time mentality,” Shope said. “We want to have fun and compete with every pitch. This team gets that.”