Banner Staff Report
HAMLIN, W.Va. — The Man High School baseball team’s season came to an end, as Lincoln County advanced on in the Class AA Region 4 Section 2 tournament with a 12-8 victory over the Hillbillies on Tuesday afternoon at Lincoln County High School.
After dropping the tournament opener against Man on May 15, the Panthers defeated Chapmanville 8-2 on Saturday while Man disposed of Mingo Central on Monday to set up the rematch. Unfortunately for the Hillbillies the Panthers put together a five-run sixth inning to erase an one-run deficit and eliminate Man from postseason contention.
Tylor Lucas and Cody Elkins combined to go 6-for-7 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBIs to spark the Panthers offense. Elkins was a single shy of the cycle as he had a double, triple, home run and four RBIs. Lucas added two doubles and drove in two runs for the Panthers who also got a home run and two RBIs from Caleb Smith while Justin Pauley drove in two runs.
Man jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a two-run home run off the bat of Nick Collins in the second inning. It was the fourth home run of the season for Collins who had three hits in the contest.
The Panthers answered with a run in the third and plated six more in the fourth. Elkins smashed a three-run home run over the left field fence and Smith followed with a solo shot for a 7-2 lead after four innings.
Man would not quit as the Hillbillies plated four runs in the fifth with three coming off the bat of John McCoy. Facing a 2-2 count, McCoy blasted a three-run home run over the left field fence to bring the Hillbillies within two, 7-5, on his first career home run. Trey Whitt singled with one out to plate Brock Muncy and close the gap to 7-6 after five innings.
The Hillbillies regained the lead with a pair of runs in the sixth inning as Cameron Simpson’s sacrifice fly knotted the score at 7-7 and McCoy later tripled to plate Chapman giving the Hillbillies an 8-7 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth.
Lincoln County tied the score on Smith’s RBI groundout to knot the contest at 8-8. Elkins would race home on a passed ball to give the Panthers a 9-8 lead. It would be a lead they would never relinquish as Lincoln County tacked on three additional runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Simpson started the contest, throwing 3 1/3 innings for the Hillbillies. Simpson allowed three earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out a game-high six batters to push his season total to 100. McCoy came in relief in the fourth and threw 2 2/3 innings allowing eight earned runs on 10 hits while walking two and striking out four.
Max Salmons started for the Panther and allowed six runs, only two earned, on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. Cody Roach relieved Salmons in the fifth and pitched 2 2/3 innings to earn the victory. Roach allowed two unearned runs on two hits and struck out three.
McCoy tripled and homered to go along with four runs batted in to lead the Hillbillies at the plate. Collins added three hits including a home run and drove in two while Chapman added three hits to push his team leading average to .493 on the season. Whitt singled and drove in a run while Zack Frye added one hit and Simpson one RBI for the Hillbillies.
Man finishes the season with an 11-15 record. Tuesday’s contest marked the end for eight Man High School seniors. Starters Tyler Blair, Chapman, Collins, McCoy and Simpson along with reserves Buren Maynor, Hunter Mangus and Billy Williamson played their last game as Hillbillies.