Whitley County’s 13th Region Tournament Semifinal game against Knox Central Monday night looked bleak early, before the Colonels scored eight unanswered runs en route to the 8-5 victory.
Colonels’ starting pitcher Bryce Anderson struggled beginning in the second inning, walking two hitters and then hitting another to load the bases, before the third walk of the inning gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Coach Brandon Shope was quick with the hook, bringing on Logan Siler to pitch.
One out later, Siler gave up a fielder’s choice for another run, and then a single to put Knox Central up 4-0.
After another Walk, Shope came back out, going to Grant Zehr.
Zehr not only got out of the inning, but held Knox Central to one run over the next four innings. Meanwhile, the Whitley County offense went to work.
In the bottom of the third inning, Anderson led things off with a single. One out later Trevor Downs reach via an error, and Matt Wright singled to load the bases.
The Colonels got on the scoreboard with a call of catcher’s interference that allowed Downs to score and kept the bases loaded.
Caden Petrey followed with a single for two more RBI’s, cutting the lead to 4-3.
Zehr worked a quick 1-2-3 third inning and the Colonels got right back at it at the plate.
Sam Harp singled and Anderson walked.
One out later, Downs came through with a single to load the bases, and Wright quickly unloaded them with a triple for three RBI’s and a 6-4 Whitley County lead.
Logan Bennet then hit a sacrifice fly to center field for the 7-4 lead.
Zehr kept putting up the zeroes, while Whitley County added another run in the fourth inning for the 8-4 lead.
Knox Central got one of the runs back in the top of the sixth inning, but with one out and the bases loaded, Zehr induced an inning-ending double play to get out of the jam.
Shope took no chances in the top of the seventh inning, calling on Sam Harp for the final three outs and the Whitley County win.
The Colonels await the winner of the other semifinal game between Middlesboro and Jackson County.
Whitley County will play the winner at 6 p.m. Tuesday night for the 13th Region title.