Bobcats survive first round scare, 8-4

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Gann picks up win, save in four-run victory

By Goose Lindsay, Sports Editor

It might not have been their best performance of the season, but the Oliver Springs Bobcats kept their season alive Thursday evening with an 8-4 victory over Sunbright in the District 4-A Tournament play-in game.

The No. 2 seed Bobcats had defeated the No. 7 seed Tigers twice in the regular season by identical 6-0 scores and it looked like another easy win Thursday when the Bobcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.

Sunbright, however, hung around and trailed just 4-3 after four innings of play and the Tigers even had the bases loaded down 6-4 in the sixth inning before Oliver Springs finally escaped the possible upset bid.

Oliver Springs started strong as Logan Crisp singled and Tyler Bowling walked before the first out was recorded. Crisp would score on a ground out from Matt Tinker then the Bobcats got a huge break as Tanner Turpin reached safely on a dropped third strike with two outs. That dropped third strike resulted in two runs as Kyle Coker followed with a two-run single.

Oliver Springs made it 4-0 in the bottom of the third inning. A pitch hit Tinker with one out then Turpin drove in the run with a two-out single.

Through three innings of play, Oliver Springs’ Cary Gann had a no-hitter going with six strikeouts, but with a long week ahead, Bobcat skipper Tony Kegley wanted to save his ace’s arm as he replaced Gann with Taylor Coleman.

The move didn’t work as Coleman was greeted by four straight hits, one of which was a three-run home run off the bat of Jesse England that pulled the Tigers to within one run at 4-3.

Kegley quickly put Gann back on the mound and he got out of the inning with no further damage done.

The Bobcats added to their lead with single runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings to make the score 6-3.

Crisp singled and scored on a double from Bowling in the fourth inning while Tinker scored on a single from Gann in the fifth inning.

The top of the sixth inning would have Bobcat fans holding their breath. One hit and three walks brought in a run and the Tigers had bases loaded with one out, but that’s when Gann dug down deep for a little extra and he ended the inning with a pair of strikeouts.

Oliver Springs manufactured a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to make the score 6-4.

Crisp reached on an error and scored the first run on a double steal while Bowling walked and scored the second run on a squeeze bunt from Coleman.

Sunbright put a pair of runners on base in the top of the seventh inning, but they would not score.

In a strange turn of events, Gann recorded both the victory and the save after tossing a total of seven innings allowing four hits and striking out nine.

Crisp (2-4, 3 runs) had multiple hits for the Bobcats.

With the victory, Oliver Springs advances to Monday’s double elimination portion of the tournament and a match-up against No. 3 Oakdale or No. 6 Jellico.