Knights start fast, beat Highlanders
ONA -- On the 25th anniversary of the release of the classic baseball movie "Major League," Huntington High did its best imitation of wild thing Ricky Vaughn and company Tuesday.
The Highlanders (10-6) couldn't overcome a disaster of a first inning that doomed them in a 5-2 loss to Cabell Midland. The Knights (11-8) scored four unearned runs in the first, chasing Huntington High starting pitcher Brice Leep after 2/3 of an inning. Before exiting, Leep hit two batters, walked two more and was victimized by two errors.
Cabell Midland scored first when Seth Kinker crossed the plate thanks to an error on a ball ht by Taylor Kuhn. The out would have ended the inning with Leep unscathed, but the right-hander then walked Derek Adkins to force home Brady Elkins. Eric Wooten followed with a single to left to drive in Bryton Jobe and Kuhn.
"When you get down 4-0, it's hard to recover against a good baseball team," Huntington High coach Danny Harbert said.
The lead was plenty for Knights starter Derek Adkins, who allowed two runs on two hits, struck out seven, walked three and hit two batters. Nathan Kinker allowed a double to Jack Brunetti before striking out the final three batters in the seventh to earn a save.
"Derek threw a heck of a game," Cabell Midalnd coach Tracy Brumfield said. "A great game. We got up early and did some little things that helped us."
A pair of well-executed bunts, some standout plays on defense and a rally killing double play in the sixth inning were among the "little things" that made a difference for Cabell Midland, which plays host to Logan at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Another was a sacrifice fly by Derek Adkins to score Kuhn ahead of the throw from Highanders center fielder Mark Zban in the fifth inning.
Huntington High scored twice in the sixth thanks to a pair of walks, two Cabell Midland errors and a hit batter, all of which combined to allow Cole Ashworth and Zban to cross the plate. The Highlanders had a major threat going with the bases loaded, but Sam Shiels hit a line drive to second baseman Cole Tilley, who threw to first to double off Stephen Holland and end the inning.
"I liked the fact that we battled back," Harbert said. "It hurt when they doubled us off."
Brumfield said the double play was a key factor in his team's victory, the second of the season for the Knights over the Highlanders.
"That was a good play by Tilley at second base," Brumfield said. "I thought it was over his glove, but he made the play and stopped what could have been a big inning. Against Huntington High, you can't give up a big inning."
Brumfield was pleased with his team, but said he was concerned about leaving 12 runners on base.
"We have to do a better job of putting the ball in play with runners in scoring position," Brumfield said. "If we get one or two runs we had a chance to get, we're up 7-0. We need to make something happen and get those runs in."
Huntington High plays at Nitro (13-2) at 7 p.m. Thursday.
"We have to be ready to play," Harbert said. "Nitro is tough."
HUNTINGTON HIGH 000 002 0 -- 2 3 3
CABELL MIDLAND 400 010 x -- 5 4 2
Leep, Aulick (1), Booth (6) and Fulks; Adkins, Kinker (7) and Elkins.
Hitting: (HH) Brunetti 2B; (CM) Jobe 2B.
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