Panther defeat Bulldogs in game one

Claiborne hosted rival Cumberland Gap on April 29 for the first of a two-game series playing home and then away, April 30.

Before the game began, Ernie Barker made a presentation to CHS baseball in memory of Colin Fischer, and then his actual jersey was presented back to Claiborne High School for retirement and display in the hallway of the school. A memorial scholarship was announced, and then Colin’s brother Kyle threw out the first pitch while fighting back tears. It was a beautiful and meaningful ceremony to celebrate a good baseball player and a great person.

Panthers head coach Nathan Hatmaker held these keys to his team winning, “We gotta play clean, throw strikes and score our base runners if we want to win today.”

All in all, he got almost exactly what he needed out if his team.

Cumberland Gap led off with Holden McDaniel, who advanced to third with two outs and got stranded on base.

Claiborne had a base runner with Hadyn Hollin, who stole second and got into scoring position. Alex Boling advanced Hollin to third but the inning ended when Ryley Hager flied out to Jeremiah Cannon.

Cumberland Gap started the top of the second with two fast outs, and Matthew Massengill singled but was left on first.

Claiborne got a runner on base with Jacob Wilson, who was hit by pitch but he too was left on base.

Starting the third inning, Brennan Murphy got handed a base on balls and Noah Robertson walked as well. Brady Pearman stepped up to the plate and ripped a two-run double down the line giving the Panthers the first lead of the game.

Darin Robertson singled in another run making it 3-0. Peyton Wilder drew a walk setting the Panthers up with two on base. Cannon benefited from an error but by reaching base another run scored. Matthew Massengill then hit a long RBI single and Ethan Ramsey walked to load the bases.

Murphy flied out and McDaniel was hit by a pitch and scored the fifth Panther run of the game. Robertson was huge again and hit a two-run double. After the Panthers half of the inning was done, the score was 8-0.

Claiborne singled with Hollin, and Boling reached base by smashing a base hit off the glove of a diving Cannon.

Chase Foster hit an RBI double but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. Hager hit a single but he too was gunned down trying to get another base; however, the Bulldogs had cut into the Panther lead which was now at 8-2.

Cumberland Gap had Wilder, Robertson and Ramsey reach base, but they were not able to plate a run.

Claiborne tried to produce a run but even a Brooks double wasn’t enough.

In the fifth inning, Darin Robertson doubled in Noah Robertson increasing the score to 9-2.

Boling was relieved on the mound by Daniel Atkins and put an end to the Panthers scoring and helped his team out at the plate with a long fly ball that scored Brooks. It was the final run of the game.

The Panthers and Bulldogs shook hands after the game, and Cumberland Gap went across the river with a 9-3 victory and were immediately thinking about the next meeting on April 30.