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Jackets picking up steam in 4-AA

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By Goose Lindsay, Sports Editor

  After dropping their first three district games of the 2013 season, Bruce Robinette’s Kingston Yellow Jackets have now won three in a row in district play to pull to .500 on the year. The latest of those victories came on Monday and Tuesday as Kingston took two games from Stone Memorial.

Monday’s game would see the Jackets rally from a 6-2 deficit in picking up an 8-7 victory in a game played at Roane State. Kingston wouldn’t need a comeback on Tuesday, as they led from start to finish in a 7-1 victory.

Monday’s Game

The Jackets were originally scheduled to play at Stone Memorial Monday, but when the Panthers arrived in Kingston it left the two teams scrambling for a place to play and the game was moved to Roane State.

Those fans that made the trip to Roane State were treated to a dandy as the game went back and forth before the Jackets scored what would be the game-winning run in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Monday’s game started with Stone Memorial’s Austin Helton scoring a run in the top of the first inning, but Kingston came back with two runs in the bottom of the frame.

Dustin Kitts, Heath Beatty and Spencer Boles all had hits for Kingston in the opening inning with Kitts and Beatty scoring runs.

Kingston’s lead didn’t last long, however, as the Panthers scored two runs in the second and three more in the top of the third to take a 6-2 lead.

That’s when Kingston put together their biggest inning of the night as five Jackets crossed the plate to make the score 7-6. Cody Mitchell, Ben Redden, Boles, Brandon Ott and Tevin Wright scored the runs with doubles from Wright and Dakota Henry being the big hits of the inning.

Stone Memorial pulled even with a run in the top of the fifth inning, but Kingston answered with what proved to be the game-winning run in the bottom of the frame.

Wright reached on an error and scored the run after back-to-back singles from Henry and Kitts. 

The Panthers threatened with a pair of base runners in the sixth inning and a leadoff walk in the seventh, but they could not push home a run to force extra innings.

Kitts (2-4, 1 run), Beatty (3-4, 1 run) and Henry (2-4, 1 2B) had multiple hits for Kingston in the win.

Wright pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief of Redden to pick up the win.

Tuesday’s Game

Spencer Boles tossed a complete-game four-hitter with four strikeouts Tuesday in leading the Jackets to a 7-1 victory at Stone Memorial.

Boles was staked to a comfortable lead in the early going as Kingston put three runs on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning.

Kitts walked and Paul Bolden singled to start the game, but the big blow of the inning came when Boles hit a two-out double. Boles then scored the third run of the inning.

All was quiet until the fifth inning when Kingston scored another two-out run. Kitts scored this run on a single from Beatty.

The Jackets took advantage of a pair of Panther miscues to score two runs and make the score 6-0 in the top of the sixth inning.

A pitch hit Boles to start the inning then Mitchell reached on an error. Wright and Kitts would pick up singles later in the frame to give the Jackets the six-run lead.

Stone Memorial scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Kingston got that run back in the top of the seventh as Beatty worked his way around the bases after opening the inning with a single.

Beatty (3-4, 1 run) was the only Kingston player with multiple hits on the day.

Kingston is scheduled to play in a tournament in Loudon this weekend before returning to District 4-AA play at Alcoa on Monday. The Jackets will host the Tornadoes on Tuesday.