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By GOOSE LINDSAY
The Kingston Yellow Jackets spent most of Thursday evening playing catch-up at Oliver Springs’ Arrowhead Park, but in the end Bruce Robinette’s squad used an RBI ground out from Josh Banken with one out in the top of the seventh inning to pick up a 6-5 victory over the Bobcats.
Kingston did take an early lead as Luke Barnett opened the game with a walk and he moved to third on a double from Daniel Leslie. Barnett would score on an RBI ground out from Alex Roberts to give the Jackets a 1-0 lead.
Oliver Springs, however, answered with a vengeance in the bottom of the inning as Tony Kegley’s squad used four hits, one walk and one hit batter to put four runs on the board.
Cary Gann got things started with a one-out walk and that was followed by a single from Cruise Smith and a pitch hitting Patrick Burnett to load the bases. Garrett Jackson followed with an RBI single then Rodney Efferson drove in a run on a fielder’s choice ground out. The Bobcats then used an RBI single from Jacob Davis and an RBI double from Jonathan Thornton to make the score 4-0.
The score could have been more, but the Jackets threw out a runner trying to score to end the inning.
The Jackets spent the rest of the day chipping away at the Bobcats lead.
Kingston pulled to within 4-3 with two runs in the top of the third inning.
Barnett again drew a walk to get things going and he scored on a double from Leslie. Leslie scored later in the inning on a ground out off the bat of Bradley Mitchell.
The Jackets would take the lead in the top of the fifth inning with two more runs.
Roberts walked to start the rally and Mitchell was hit by a pitch to put two runners on with no outs. Roberts eventually scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Tyler Adams and Mitchell scored on a Banken single to make the score 5-4.
Oliver Springs, however, pulled even with a run in the bottom of the inning.
Andy Reed was hit by a pitch to start the inning and he scored on a squeeze bunt off the bat of Matt Tinker.
Neither team scored in the sixth inning, but Kingston used a lead off walk to Aaron Fielden and Banken’s ground out to make the score 6-5.
Davis opened the final inning with a single for Oliver Springs, but the Bobcats couldn’t move him around the bases with the tying run.
Adams started the game for Kingston and pitched four innings before Josh Lively pitched the final three innings in relief. Lively got credit for the win.
Leslie (3-4, 1 RBI, 1 run) had multiple hits on the day for Kingston.
Jackson, Tinker and Burnett all pitched for the Bobcats in defeat.
Davis (2-3, 1 RBI) had multiple hits for the Bobcats.
Oliver Springs will play at Wartburg Monday in a huge District 4-A contest. The Bobcats will host the Bulldogs on Tuesday.
Kingston will host Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) on Monday, travel to CAK on Tuesday, and host Stone Memorial on Wednesday. All three games are District 4-AA contests.