PIKEVILLE – Facing the reality of giving up a lead it had held for six innings, the University of Pikeville baseball team responded in style, plating seven runs in the seventh inning on its way to an 8-5 win against Asbury at Johnnie LeMaster Field on Tuesday.
UPIKE, winner of six straight games, scored its first run in the third inning on a double by Anthony Roberts that drove in Scottie Whitaker. Three innings later, it was still a 1-0 lead as the Eagles (1-2) struggled against the pitching duo of starter Josh Bailey and Bryce Carden.
But the Asbury bats wouldn’t stay quiet all game long. Instead, a string of four straight one-out singles in the seventh allowed the Eagles to take a 2-1 lead. The tying run was hit off Carden on a single by C.J. Compton, then A.J. Carkner entered in relief and sent the go-ahead run home on a balk.
Carkner settled in after the miscue though, allowing just three hits and striking out one to claim the win in 1 2/3 innings of work as his offense caught fire in the bottom of the seventh.
UPIKE’s seven runs were scored on eight hits and four of the scores came during a painful outing for Asbury’s Logan Reitter. He had entered the game to hold onto the one-run lead for the next three frames, but the Bears (6-2) hit three straight singles and scored two runs to make it a quick outing.
After UPIKE ended the seventh with an 8-2 lead, Asbury tried to rally back with a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth, but it was too little, too late as Reitter took the loss without recording a single out.
Bailey’s start lasted four innings, scattering four hits for no runs with four strikeouts, followed by Carden throwing the next 2 1/3 with two runs allowed on four hits. After the Eagles cut the deficit to three with two runs in the ninth, Logan Sales replaced Ronny Herndon to get the save, his second of the season.
Roberts and designated hitter Justin Beatty led UPIKE at the plate, driving in two runs each. Both finished with a doubles on their two hits each, while Beatty also stole a base.