Hillbillies open sectional play with 5-3 win over Panthers


Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports


MAN Class A No. 4 and top seeded Man rallied from an early two-run deficit to defeat fourth-seeded Tug Valley, 5-3, in the Class A Region 4 Section 1 tournament at William Tootie Carter Field Tuesday evening.


Man took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the second inning when courtesy runner Hayden Fraley scored on an error. Bo Thompson, who Fraley was running for, reached base safely on a bunt attempt that brought in Brady Hall-Montgomery with the first of two second inning runs.


Man added to its lead in the fifth inning when Caleb Blevins singled to score Jace Adkins giving Man a 4-2 lead after five innings.


Tug Valley scored a run in the sixth on Brayden Dotson’s sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 4-3.


Man’s Drake Veres grounded into a fielder’s choice scoring Preston Blankenship and increasing Man’s advantage to 5-3 after six innings.


Blevins came on in the seventh inning and saved the win for starter Thompson. Thompson allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings while striking out six and walking one to improve his season record to 8-1.


Blevins allowed one hit and walked one to record his first save of the season.


Conner Lackey suffered the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits in six innings while striking out one and walking one.


Tug Valley scored two runs in the first inning on an RBI groundout from Tanner Kirk and a run-scoring single from Lackey.


Man plated a run in the bottom of the first when Adkins scored on Blevins’ squeeze bunt to cut the Tug Valley advantage to 2-1 after one inning.


Kirk and Lackey each had one hit and one RBI for Tug Valley, who also got an RBI from Dotson. Nick Alley had two hits while Elijah Fluty and Alex Vance each had a double and Corey Wilson a single for the Panthers.


Adkins finished with two hits and scored two runs and Blevins had one hit and two RBIs for the Hillbillies. Blankenship, Hall-Montgomery, Braxton Messer and Colton Miller each had one hit for Man.


Tug Valley falls to 13-17 with the loss and will host sixth-seed Tolsia in an elimination game Wednesday evening.


Man improves to 18-8 on the year and will host third-seeded Buffalo, who defeated second seed and Class A No. 5 Sherman, Thursday evening at William Tootie Carter Field.

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