The Paintsville Tigers have been on a roll since the loss to the Pikeville Panthers in the 15th Region All “A” Classic back in early April, winning 12 of their last 13 games, while winning 10 in a row during this stretch of dominance.
Recently the Tigers took on the Cardinals from Martin County in a back-to-back contest that Paintsville dominated winning the first game at Martin County 17-1 and the second at home, 10-0.
In the second game of the back-to-back against Martin County at the Tigers’ home field, Paintsville went for three runs early on in the bottom of the first inning.
In the bottom of the second, the Tigers added another two runs to extend their lead to 5-0.
Then added another run in the bottom of the third to make the score 6-0 in favor of the Tigers.
After a scoreless fourth and fifth innings, the Tigers exploded for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to bring the game to a close thanks to the mercy rule.
Following the wins against Martin County, which was the eighth and ninth consecutive victories for the Tigers, Paintsville was set to take on the always-competitive Belfry Pirates.
The Tigers hosted the Pirates on April 30 and came away with the 7-3 win, adding a tenth game to Paintsville’s winning streak.
In the bottom of the second inning against Belfry the Tigers took the first lead of the game after gaining two runs.
After a scoreless third and fourth innings, the Pirates struck back in the top of the fifth scoring two runs of their own to tie the game at 2-2 going into the bottom of the fifth.
The Tigers couldn’t manage a run in the bottom of the fifth, but managed to hold off the Pirates in the top of the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Tigers took a one run lead over the Pirates to make the score 3-2.
In the top of the seventh, the Pirates tied the game at 3-3 and had hopes for extra innings.
However, the Tigers had one at-bat left and had plans on ending the game as scheduled in the seventh inning.
The Tigers managed to load the bases up in the bottom of the seventh and only needed one of those base runners to cross home plate to extend their winning streak to 10.
The Tigers’ Baron Ratliff, approached the plate with no outs against Paintsville.
Ratliff laid off the first pitch for a ball.
As the second pitch made it way to the plate and must have done something to upset Ratliff as he blasted the ball to left field.
As the ball left the bat, there was no doubt that its destination was predetermined.
That destination was the other side of the fence giving Ratliff a walk-off grand slam to bring the game’s final score to 7-3 and giving the Tigers their 10th straight win.
After the battle with the Pirates, the Tigers were set to travel to Boyd County to take on Huntington, W. Va.
The Tigers fell to Huntington 11-7.
However, the Tigers bounced back quickly in their next contest against Boyd County on the same day, winning 13-5 over the Lions.
On Monday, Paintsville traveled to Pikeville to take on the Panthers.
This grudge match spanned back to the two team’s last matchup in the championship of the 15th Region All “A” Classic where the Tigers lost to the Panthers 5-3.
The Tigers were determined to prove that they had improved since that last meeting between the two powerhouse programs in this 15th Region matchup.
Paintsville jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning.
Then in the top of the third inning added another run to extend the lead to 5-0.
Both Pikeville and Paintsville failed to amass runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
In the top of the sixth Paintsville continued to pour it on the Panthers adding another two runs to extend their lead to 7-0 over the Panthers.
Paintsville continued to hold off the Panthers in the bottom of the sixth, allowing no runs.
The Tigers put the game seemingly out of reach in the top of the seventh as they added three more runs to their lead, giving Paintsville the 10-0 lead.
Paintsville then struck out three straight batters to bring the rematch to a close as the Tigers left Pikeville with the 10-0 win and their 12th win in 13 games.
The dominance the Tigers have shown over the month of April has been astonishing.
April being the rainy month is fitting to how the Tigers have been causing a torrential downpour of wins in that month, even extending now into May.
If this kind of play continues for the Tigers then Paintsville fans could be watching this club play well into June, possibly competing for not just a district or region title, but a state title as well.
Results of Paintsville’s last 13 games:
April 13 Paintsville vs. Johnson Central (W) 10-0
April 15 Paintsville at Johnson Central (W) 13-11
April 16 Paintsville vs. Bellevue (W) 11-2
April 17 Paintsville vs. Williamstown (W) 8-2
April 17 Paintsville vs. Lloyd Memorial (W) 21-4
April 20 Paintsville vs. Magoffin County (W) 6-0
April 23 Paintsville vs. Spring Valley, W. Va. (W) 8-1
April 27 Paintsville at Martin County (W) 17-1
April 28 Paintsville vs. Martin County (W) 10-0
April 30 Paintsville vs. Belfry (W) 7-3
May 1 Paintsville vs. Huntington at Boyd County (L) 11-7
May 1 Paintsville at Boyd County (W) 13-5
May 3 Paintsville at Pikeville (W) 10-0