The Paintsville Tigers opened play of the 2019 15th Region Tournament at Floyd Central against one of the favorites, the Lawrence County Bulldogs Saturday morning.
The Tigers came ready to play jumping on the Bulldogs early, but Paintsville couldn’t maintain their lead as they suffered an 11-4 loss.
Paintsville broke out the bats to start the game. Scoring one run in the top of the first, but the Tigers were quickly answered by Lawrence County as the Bulldogs counterd with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. The Bulldogs tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the second as Jackson Feltner belted a two-run homer.
Paintsville had an answer, however. After the Feltner home run, the Tigers came back in the top of the third and pushed three runs across the plate cutting into the bulldog lead, 6-4.
Tiger pitcher Barron Ratliff held Lawrence County scoreless in the bottom of the third, but Paintsville was unable to produce any runs in the top half of the fourth.
It remained that way until the bottom of the fifth as the Bulldog’s leadoff hitter C.J. Fairchild drew a walk, then was moved over on Feltner’s single in the hole at shortstop. He was driven home by Tyler Maynard’s RBI single to short and Bryce Blevins scored the second run of the inning with his sacrifice fly to the outfield. Lawrence County pushed three more runs across in the taking an 11-4 lead heading into the top of the sixth.
The Tigers went three up, three down in the top half of the sixth.
In the bottom half of the sixth, Jacob Fletcher and Fairchild each added singles. Fairchild’s hitting off the wall in center field.
Paintsville had one last opportunity to make something happen. However, Zach Thompson and center fielder Jake Hyden both grounded out to third base, and eighth-grader Harris Phelps was thrown out on a dropped third strike as Lawrence County would go on for an 11-4 victory and advance to the 15th Region semifinals.
Paintsville ended its season with a 21-16 record and return a strong core of this season’s team for next season.