Last week the Williamsburg High School softball team became 13th Region All “A” champions, and on Wednesday the baseball Jackets followed suit by defeating visiting Barbourville 13-6 to also win an All “A” regional title in 2018.
As reported in Wednesday’s print edition of the News Journal, the Yellow Jackets took down Pineville 12-2 on Monday to pick up their first win in this year’s 13th Region All “A” tournament. Then, as detailed in a previous web post (see “Tuesday Night Highlights”), the Jackets defeated Harlan Indpendent 10-0 in the tournament semifinals. That set up a championship game at Briar Creek Park Wednesday against the Barbourville Tigers, who picked up wins over Oneida Baptist Institute and Middlesboro to earn their spot in the regional finals.
Barbourville went up by three runs in the top of the first inning Wednesday, but Williamsburg came roaring back, scoring six runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. First was a Justin Murray two-RBI double that scored teammates Cameron Bowen and Hunter Brown. Then Murray and Clay Kysar scored on a two-RBI double by Trey Hendrix. Mason Manning was walked, leading to a pitching change by the Tigers, but both Manning and Hendrix would go on to score runs thanks to a two-RBI single by Sydney Bowen.
Junior Cameron Bowen, who pitched a complete game for the Jackets, made quick work of the next three Barbourville batters in the top of the second. In the bottom of the inning, Williamsburg added to their lead when a Justin Murray RBI double scored Hunter Brown from second base.
The Tigers got some offense going again in the third, scoring three runs to make the score 7-6 still in favor of the home team, but they gave up three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Murray, Hendrix and Caddell all crossed home plate, putting the Jackets up 10-6.
After a scoreless fifth inning, Barbourville went three up, three down again in the top of the sixth. That led to the bottom of the sixth, where Hendrix and Manning both scored for Williamsburg thanks to a two-run RBI from Cameron Bowen. An RBI single from senior Jake Harrison brought Caddell home again soon after, giving us the final score of 13-6 after the Tigers were unable to respond in the top of the seventh inning.
“This is wonderful,” said Yellow Jackets head coach Bryan Hopkins of the championship victory. “The kids deserve it. They’ve worked really hard, and you just couldn’t ask for a better group to do something like this. I’m beyond happy.”
Williamsburg, now 5-2 on the season, will now begin begin making preparations to appear in the 2018 All “A” state championship tournament later this spring. More details on that event will be provided as soon as they become available.