The Bell County Bobcats scored nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on Friday to bring an early end to a 14-4 win over Barbourville and claim their first win of the season.
“We’ve played three really good teams and we gave one away against Knox Central (Thursday) night,” Bobcat coach Scott Chaney said. “It’s important to get this bunch going. Over the last two years they’ve been used to getting beat, so getting the first win is big and hopefully it will improve our confidence from here on out.”
Bell County pounded out 12 hits in the game with six of them coming in that decisive fifth frame. Junior first baseman Dylan Cox led the way with two doubles, a single, three RBI and three runs scored. He scored the game-ending run from third on a clean base hit by Jacob Rose.
Rose had two hits and two RBI, Aaron Jenkins singled and doubled to drive in two, and Chase Woolum added a pair of RBI singles. Devon Miller also had two hits in the game and finished with one RBI and one run scored.
Austin North pitched all five innings to get the win. Just one of the four runs he allowed was earned and he scattered six hits while striking out five and walking two.
“Austin and Zach Turner are going to be our two main pitchers this year and we expect a lot out of them. We pitched Austin today to get our season rolling and any time those two are on the mound we feel like we have a chance,” Chaney said.
Matthew Dixon had two hits for the Tigers while Tate Carter had a two-run single. Charles Pickard singled and had an RBI ground out while John Rodriguez also singled.
The Bobcats opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with back-to-back one-out doubles by Jenkins and Cox. Rose and Woolum added RBI singles and another run scored as Hayden Gilbert reached on an error to make it 4-0.
Pickard’s RBI ground out and Carter’s two-run single came during Barbourville 3-run second inning to make it a one-run game.
Bell added a run in the fourth as Gilbert singled, stole second, went to third on Miller’s single and then scored on a North ground out.
Tanner Moor reached on an error for Barbourville in the top of the fifth, Rose singled and another error allowed Moore to score to cut the Bobcat lead to 5-4.
Bell got RBI singles from Woolum and Miller in the bottom of the fifth, two runs scored as North reached on an error. Jenkins had a two-run single and Cox a two-run double before Rose brought him in with a walk-off hit.
It was actually the first game of a double-header but the nightcap was too late to get in ahead of deadline.
The game-one win puts Bell County at 1-3 on the season. They’re scheduled to host Cumberland Gap on Monday. Barbourville (2-2) is set to host Middlesboro on Monday.
Thursday, the Bobcats dropped a heart-breaker at Knox Central by an 11-10 score. Knox had beaten Bell 13-0 just a few days before, but the Bobcats had them on the ropes early.
Cox belted a three-run homer in the top of the first inning. Rose doubled and Gilbert had an RBI single as Bell went up 5-0. They made it 6-0 in the second on singles by Caleb Smith, Cox and Rose.
“We’ve got a lot of juniors this year and I expect all of them to be my leaders,” Chaney added. “Dylan has been playing since he was an eighth-grader and the kids look to him and I expect him to be that leader.”
The Panthers started battling back from there. Jacob Stewart had a two-run double as part of a three-run second and they added two runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings to go up 9-6.
Trevor Sanborn took over on the mound to start the third and shut the Bobcats down until the sixth. Cox and Rose had RBI singles and the tying run scored as Jared Slusher reached on a fielder’s choice. Woolum’s single made put Bell back on top 10-9.
Hunter McRight homered leading off the bottom of the sixth to tie it. In the bottom of the seventh, Seth Hill was hit by a pitch with one out. An error and a single loaded the bases and Hill was able to slide in ahead of the throw on an Evan Lay grounder to give Knox Central (3-1) the 11-10 win.
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|Collin Grubb, Dylan Worley (5) and Jaxon McWilliams; Austin North and Aaron Jenkins. W — North. L — Grubb.|
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|Ethan Mason, Austin North (4), Zach Turner (6) and Aaron Jenkins; Brayden Imel, Trevor Sanborn (3) and Jacob Stewart. W — Sanborn. L — Turner. HR — BC: Dylan Cox, KC: Hunter McRight.|