By KYLE LOVERN
PIKEVILLE, Ky. – The Belfry Pirates baseball team advanced to the semi-finals of the 15th regional tournament Monday night with a 10-1 win over East Ridge.
The tournament is being played at Pikeville’s Hambley Field. The game got a late start because the previous game went into extra inning and the Pirates were already playing in the nightcap. It was around 11 p.m. when tournament officials finally got the Belfry game started.
East Ridge got its only run in the top of the 1st inning when Colby Little led off with walk and scored on a Tyler Bentley single.
Belfry (25-8) took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the opening frame and never relinquished the lead.
Zack Francisco was hit by a pitch to reach first base. Joey Duty then walked with two outs and Jared Masters was safe on an error by the third baseman. Francisco was able to score on the error. Then Keegan Fields had an RBI single bringing home Duty.
Neither team scored in the 2nd inning, but Belfry erupted with a 5-run rally in the 3rd inning.
Duty led off with walk to get the rally started. Zac Fields also walked and his brother Keegan Fields walked with one out to load the bases.
Eli Huddle was safe on a ground ball fielder’s choice by the third baseman, in which Duty scored.
Reed Williamson then got an RBI and was safe on another fielder’s choice as Zac Fields scored, but Huddle was thrown out at second base.
Senior leadoff batter Howie Dotson then doubled to bring home Keegan Fields.
The rally continued as Francisco walked to load the bases again, setting the table for senior Tyler Williams. Williams singled, picking up a pair of RBIs as Williamson and Dotson both scored.
In the Belfry 4th inning, Keegan Fields doubled with one out and Travis Maynard came in as a pinch runner. Maynard scored as Williamson hit the ball and was safe on an error by the East Ridge second baseman. Huddle, who had walked before Williamson, scored when Francisco was safe on error.
Belfry got another run in the 6th inning when Dotson singled and scored on a Williams’s sacrifice fly, his third RBI of the game.
Williams was the winning pitcher improving his record to 10-2 on season.
He is the first Belfry pitcher known to have 10 wins in a season, according to longtime scorekeeper Bennett West.
Colby Little took the loss on the mound for the Warriors. East Ridge fell to 19-19 on the season, with one game ending in a tie. The Warriors committed six costly errors in the game.
Keaton Taylor pitched final two innings for BHS.
The win was the 25th of the season for the Pirates breaking a school record, according to West. He has been keeping the records back to 1998. But as far as anyone knows, this is the most wins in a single season by a Pirate baseball team.
Belfry is scheduled to play Paintsville this evening at 6:00 p.m. The Tigers outslugged Prestonsburg 10-8 in their first round game.
Score by innings:
ERHS .. 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 1 2 6
BHS …. 2 0 5 2 0 1 x - 10 7 0