AAA Jackets still going strong

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By Goose Lindsay, Sports Editor

In winning last week's Dixie Youth AAA sub district title, the Kingston Yellow Jackets ran into little opposition.

The road hasn't been that easy in this week's Dixie Youth District 8 AAA Tournament, but the results have been the same as Kingston has won their first two games.

In last week's tourney, Kingston won four games by a combined 23 runs, but their two victories against Sweetwater and host Madisonville have been by a total of three runs combined. Kingston opened play Friday with an 18-16 victory over Sweetwater then the Jackets knocked off the host Tornadoes on Monday, 4-3.

Kingston still has two games remaining in the round robin tourney. The first took place Tuesday evening against Harriman and on Wednesday the Jackets face Greenback.

The top two teams in the tournament will advance to the Dixie Youth AAA State Tournament in Mount Pleasant that begins next Friday.

Kingston 18 Sweetwater 16

The first and sixth innings were rough for the Jackets, but the middle frames were a different story as Kingston held off a late Wildcat rally for an 18-16 victory.

Kingston spotted Sweetwater a 7-0 lead after one inning of play and trailed 9-0 heading to the bottom of the second, but the Jackets started to battle back in the second inning as Chandler Worley, Trevor Sexton, Dezm’n Davidson and Trey Schulz all scored in cutting the deficit to 9-4.

Kingston would wrestle the lead away from the Wildcats in the third inning as Landon Malenovsky, Jesse Griffey, Bradley Keathley, Worley, Sexton, Davidson, Schulz and Daniels all scored as Kingston took a 12-9 lead after sending 13 batters to the plate.

Kingston batted around again in the bottom of the fifth inning as Malenovsky, Griffey, Keathley, Worley, Sexton an Davidson scored again in giving the Jackets what seemed to be a comfortable 18-9 lead entering the final inning of play.

That lead, however, dwindled away in a hurry as Sweetwater batted around and scored seven runs, but the Jackets got the final out before the Wildcats could finish off what would have been an incredible rally.

Griffey, Worley, Sexton and Tanner Poole all had multiple hits for Kingston in the victory.

Griffey also picked up the victory with Sexton earning the save.

Kingston 4 Madisonville 3

Kingston had to come-from-behind again Monday as the Jackets trailed 1-0 after three innings of play.

Kingston tied the game in the top of the fourth inning as Worley singled and scored with two outs when Sexton reached on an error.

The Jackets took the lead in the fifth inning with another two-out rally. With none on and two outs, four straight walks brought in Gavin Daniels with the go-ahead run.

The two-out rally theme continued in the top of the sixth inning as Davidson reached on an error and Schulz walked before Daniels brought in both runs when he reached on an error with two outs.

Those two extra runs proved huge as Madisonville rallied in the bottom of the frame.

Sexton started the game and pitched five strong inning for the Jackets, but he ran into some trouble to start the sixth inning as back-to-back walks to open the frame led to Griffey coming on in relief. Griffey ran into some trouble as he allowed two hits and a walk, but with the score standing at 4-3 with the bases loaded, Griffey struck out the final batter to end the game.

Sexton (5+ IP, 4 hits, 6 BBs, 10 Ks) while Griffey (1 IP, 2 hits, 1 BB, 3 Ks) earned the save.