TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
KNOX CENTRAL — The Knox Central Panthers continued their dominance against 51st District foes Tuesday with a 9-4 win over Pineville.
The Panthers are now 3-0 in district play and improved to 11-13 overall this season. With 14 games left in the regular season, Panthers' coach Brandon Hillard said he likes what his team has done so far this season.
“I’m pleased with the progress our kids have made at this point of the season,” Hillard said. “Tonight was kind of sluggish for us starting out because we’ve had some time, but our kids made some good defensive plays and Drew pitched well for us.
“We’re making strides and these young kids are getting better every time out,” he added. “Looking back a few years when we were a senior-heavy team, our win total wasn't what it is at this point on the schedule, so I’m pleased with this group and they are working hard.”
Drew Mills earned the win for the Panthers, giving up three runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts through six innings.
The Panthers pounded out 14 hits in the game, thanks to multi-hit games from Jacob Stewart (2-for-4), Hunter McRight (2-for-5), Casey Patterson (2-for-3) and Seth Hill (2-for-3).
Trevor Sanborn was 1-for-3, but his two RBIs led the team in that category.
Knox Central took a 1-0 lead in the second inning after Sanborn reached on an error, allowing Hill to score from second.
Hillard’s squad followed the second inning up by plating five more runs in the third to push the gap to 6-0.
After Pineville trimmed the gap to 6-1 in the top of the fourth, the Panthers added three in the bottom of the inning to extend the lead to 9-1.
The Mountain Lions scored two in the sixth inning and one more in the seventh to cut into the lead, but it was too little too late as Knox Central held on for the win.
The Panthers will be back in action Friday as they host Pulaski County in the Southeast Kentucky Invitational at Knox Central High School.