WILLIAMSON – The Mingo Central Miners won the “Battle for Mingo” on Wednesday evening against the Tug Valley Panthers in a heated game that ended 14-3.
The Battle for Mingo turned ugly late in the game when a verbal altercation between umpire and coach caused Tug Valley’s Head Coach, Mark Samuel to be ejected from the premises. The ejection happened in the bottom of the fifth inning when Zach Samuel hit a grounder up the middle that was stopped by the second baseman. Dylan Dotson was advancing from first base to second and the Miners had the force out. Instead of tagging the bag the second baseman decided to tag the runner going by (Dotson) and the tag was close. The second baseman then threw out Samuel at first and the umpire called both players out.
Coach Samuel disagreed with the call saying Dotson was never tagged and things escalated quickly resulting in Coach Samuel’s ejection from the game. Coach Samuel had a legitimate dispute because of the umpire’s location at the time of the tag. This was not the lone incident during the game; one Mingo Central player was struck by the ball after it took a bad hop and the game was held up while both sides tended to the players health. Another incident was a spectator being hit by a wild throw that sailed over first base and into the bleachers striking her in the head and neck area. The game was paused to attend to the spectator.
Corbin Oliver and Ethan Collins recorded home-runs for their teams. There was plenty of rivalry smack talk between the teams during warm-ups and the Panthers still couldn’t shake the “two out curse” in the third inning when they gave up six runs to the Miners that created too much distance in the score for the Panthers to overcome.
The Miners took the first at bat as the away team and scored three runs in the first. Taylor Thornsbury landed on base after a Tug Valley error, and then he stole second base. Micheal Dotson hit a grounder to second base and was safe on first after an error while Thornsbury advanced to third. Thomas Harmon was hit by a pitch thrown by Tug Valley’s Tyler Estepp that loaded the bases for Mingo Central. Thornsbury scored after Kenny Allen popped one up to center that was caught and Ethan Collins hit another to center field that was caught but Dotson crossed the plate after the catch as well. Andrew Allen recorded an RBI for Harmon on a double shot into center field.
The Miners walked out of the first inning up three runs. The Panthers stepped to the plate to face Harmon who closed the game for the Miners from the mound. Harmon struck out three straight batters to send the miners back on offense.
Mingo Central scored two runs in the second when Thornsbury and Dotson crossed the plate. Thornsbury had a double into left and he stole third on the next play. Dotson hit a triple to deep center and was knocked in by Harmon on a grounder past the short stop.
The Miners led 5-0 after one and a half innings. The Panthers still struggled against Harmon in the second. Harmon had three strikeouts and only gave up one hit; the hit was to Kyle Sturgell who got a double out of a shot into center field.
At the Miners next at bat Ethan Collins was hit by a pitch and Cannan Fletcher stepped in as the courtesy runner. After the foul balls Andrew Allen finally connected on a pooch shot into the gap in center that landed him on first base. Peyton Woolum hit a line drive down the third base line that knocked in Fletcher giving Woolum the RBI. Allen stole third base and Woolum stole second. Estepp got the Panthers first out when he sent Devon Poe back to the Miners bench on a strikeout.D.J. Corn got a walk and the bases were loaded. Thornsbury struck out and the Panthers saw the “two out curse” take effect. Micheal Dotson landed in a full-count battle with Estepp and Dotson got a two-run RBI out of a shot into right field. Harmon stepped up and recorded another 2-run RBI on a single to left field with a Tug Valley error. Kenny Allen got a single and an RBI, Ethan Collins struck out and it was the Panthers turn to bat but the Miners had just added six runs to their score making the score 11 -0.
Tug Valley scored two runs in the third when Chandler Runyon crossed the plate when Corbin Oliver knocked him in on a line drive into right field. Dylan Dotson knocked in Oliver on a shot into center field, Dotson then stole second base on the next play but Mingo got two more outs on a force out at second base and a strikeout.
The Miners went scoreless in the fourth when Tug Valley’s Estepp got two strikeouts and one catch in center to send the Miners back onto the field. The Miners kept the Panthers scoreless in the fourth with one strikeout and a double play when Andrew Allen threw out Zach Samuel and Gage Stacy.
Mingo Central scored one run in the fifth when Josh Murphy crossed the plate after Harmon hit a shot into left field. In the Panthers next at bat Corbin Oliver stepped to the plate as a lead-off hitter and hit a solo shot that cleared the fence in left field. The Panthers added one run before the drama happened and Coach Samuel was ejected.
In the sixth inning Ethan Collins hit one even deeper over the left field fence to mark his third home run of the season. Andrew Allen scored when Jeremy Harrison hit one into deep center field. Mingo got three quick outs against the Panthers at their next at bat and the game ended with a final score of 14-3 in six innings.
Score by innings:
Mingo: 3 2 6 0 1 2 – 14 13 2
Tug: 0 0 2 0 1 0 – 3 7 3
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] or on twitter @sidplaster)