MAN — The Man High School baseball team claimed its Class A sectional title on Tuesday afternoon at Man with a 10-0 win over Tug Valley.
Man (9-16) swept the season series with Tug Valley, also winning 13-0 on Monday at Williamson.
The loss closed out the season for Tug Valley (2-18), while Man moved on to play in next week’s regional tournament. The Panthers ended the spring with a 12-game losing streak.
The Panthers struggled nearly all season with fundamental mistakes as they bounced around through local ballfields, since they are still awaiting the completion of their own baseball field which is still under construction. The Panthers clung to “two out curse” through most of the season with most of their opponents doing the most damage when the Panthers had two outs showing.
The Hillbillies were led by junior right-hander Cameron Simpson who tossed a no-hitter as he fanned 16 Panther batters. Simpson struck out the side in the first, second, third and sixth innings in the game which was shortened to six innings due to the mercy rule.
Both teams were scoreless in first two innings of play.
Man then took the lead for good off Tug Valley starter Noah Lucas.
Freshman Zack Cook led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on wild pitch. He eventually came home after an RBI single off the bat of Simpson who helped his own cause.
Kenny Jo Adkins followed with a single. John Thomas Keffer then popped up for the first out. Both runners then stole second and third. Cleanup hitter Seth Chapman then ripped a solid single, scoring both runners to give the Billies a 3-0 lead. Man never looked back.
Man broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the fourth stanza off Lucas, sending nine batters to the plate. The big hit was a two-run single by Tyler Blair.
Tug Valley made two costly errors to allowed several runs score as Man took a commanding 8-0 lead.
Simpson struck out the side in the sixth inning.
Man scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to end the game at 10-0 due to the mercy rule.
Tug Valley committed two more errors in the sixth to allow Man the unearned runs.
Simpson and Kenny Jo Adkins had two hits each for the Billies. Nick Collins, Chapman, Zack Cook and Blair had one hit each.
Lucas suffered the loss on the mound for the Panthers although much can be said about his performance throughout the season as Tug Valley’s go to guy. Simpson walked five.
Tug had six errors in the game. Man had none.
The Panthers will look for new light next season although the loss of four crucial seniors will make the task difficult. Corbin Oliver, Dylan Dotson, Tyler Estepp and Chandler Runyon will all be lost to graduation over the summer.