BUCKLEYS CREEK — Pike Central captured the 60th District championship with an 8-5 win over Belfry Monday evening.
Even though the Hawks were the away team on their own scoreboard the feeling of home field advantage still came into play as the Pike Central Hawks exploded in the final inning.
The Hawks had battled their way to a 5-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning. Pike Central was looking to close the game out and claim the 60th District championship trophy. In the opposing dugout lurked a hungry ball club in white and red ready to pursue the completion of an epic comeback.
Belfry’s Kaleb Taylor stepped into the batter’s box for the Pirates with an angst that showed in every pitch that came his way in his at bat. Taylor fouled off the first pitch, then missed the second putting him way down in the count 0-2. However, Taylor had been making great contact all game which is why it was no surprise he singled on the third pitch of the at bat.
Belfry showed patience with its next batter getting walked. Brett Coleman took the first pitch, but Taylor wouldn’t let that pitch go untested as he ended up on third after stealing on the same pitch.
With the second pitch on its way, Coleman sent a shot to deep right field for a double and RBI as Taylor score for the Pirates. Belfry was down 5-3 with runners on third and first and their clean up man approaching the box. Sean Cochran blasted one off the fence in deep center to knock in two runs to tie the game 5-5. The Hawks got out of the inning shortly after.
With tensions mounting and intensity at it max, the Hawks were back up to bat looking to get the lead back and hold it for the win. Pike Central’s Jarrod Stanley Started things off for the Hawks with a single to right field. Stanley advanced to second after a sacrifice bunt by Tanner Wood.
Seth Ferguson subbed in to run for Stanley who was at second base. Shortly after Peyton Compton would single advancing Ferguson to third, giving the Hawks runners on first and third. Caden Coleman would come up big laying down a bunt to the second baseman where he singled and allowed Ferguson to score for the Hawks making it 6-5.
Evan Coleman stepped up to the plate with two outs on the Hawks. On the very first pitch, Coleman doubled on a hard ground ball to left field bringing in Peyton Compton and sending Caden Coleman to third to make it 7-5.
DaSean Prinkleton was pouring out confidence as he approached, he had easily been the most vocal between both squads.
“This is what it comes down too guys, Lets’ Go!” Prinkleton yelled to his teammates right before the team’s final at bat in this inning. And “go” he did as he drilled a ground ball that was too hot to handle straight back to the Pirates Pitcher. As Prinkleton strided across first Caden Coleman crossed home plate.
The Hawks held off the Pirates in their last at bat making the final 8-5 and Pike Central hoisting the championship hardware.
Pike Central (16-17) and Belfry (19-9) both advance to the 15th Region Tournament at Floyd Central. The Hawks will take on Pikeville at 2:00 p.m., while the Pirates are scheduled to face Shelby Valley at 5:00 p.m.