HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Cumberland Gap Panthers completed a home-and-home sweep of county rival Claiborne with an 18-0 win on Tuesday. The Panthers won Monday’s game over the Bulldogs by a final score of 26-4.
“We’re swinging the bats well and they’re hitting pitching that they really should hit. We made a few plays and pitched really well the last two days, too,” Cumberland Gap coach Nick Huckaby said. “They came to the field and took care of business and were able to get some young guys in and get them some varsity work and that’s always good.”
Jonathan Lorens pitched two innings to pick up the win on Tuesday. He didn’t allow a hit or a walk and struck out two while hitting a batter. Gavin Burns worked the final three innings and gave up just one hit while striking out six and hitting a batter.
Cumberland Gap put up seven runs in the first frame and eleven in the second and coasted from there to the five-inning win.
Burns led a 14-hit offensive attack with two doubles and a single to drive in two runs and score two. Hunter Bayless had two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored. Lorens doubled, drove in two runs and scored twice.
Devon Helton knocked in five runs with two hits and also reached on an error and scored twice while senior Joe Gidens put the Panthers ahead to stay with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning and also scored a run.
“Devon got a couple of hits today. He’s just got to be aggressive and when he does that he does a good job,” Huckaby added. “Joe Gidens is swinging it really well and we’ve put him in the two-hole and he’s producing there. That’s been a spot in the line-up we’ve had to fill and the way he’s hitting it looks like we can ink him in there for the next little bit.”
Gage Barnett, Addison Welch, Chase Smith, and Preston England also had hits for Cumberland Gap.
“Chase Smith is playing a really good outfield for us right now and covering a lot of ground. He’s getting better out there every day,” the coach said.
Zack McLain singled in the fourth inning for the only Bulldog hit. He was throw out attempting to steal second. The only other Claiborne base runners were T.D. Johnson and Aaron Faulkner, who were both hit by pitches.
In Monday’s game Helton got the win after pitching three no-hit innings. He walked two and struck out five.
Burns had three hits, three stolen bases and three runs scored. Gidens and Bayless both singled, doubled and scored three runs. Barnett also singled and doubled and drove in three. Senior catcher Brandon Bailey singled, walked twice and reached on an error and courtesy runner Jeremiah Lorens scored four runs. Welch drove in two runs on two singles while Lorens, Russell, Fleeman and Helton also had hits in the game.
Claiborne scored all four of their runs on five hits in the fourth inning. Tyler Poore singled, T.D. Johnson singled and they both came around to score on a Faulkner double. Dillon Davidson singled home Faulkner and Zack King’s two-out single brought in Davidson to set the final at 26-4.
Cumberland Gap (7-5, 2-3 in District 2-AA) is next scheduled to play at Grainger on Monday and then host the Grizzlies next Tuesday, though Huckaby said he was looking to add a game on Thursday.