OZARK, Ala. — Kentucky State opened up the 2012 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic tournament with a 9-7, come-from-behind win against Paine Lions.
The Thorobreds scored first as Kyle Clark doubled to right center and scored on a single through the left side by Alexander Davie. KSU held a 1-0 lead until the bottom of the third inning. Paine’s Darren Stokes got a lead off walk, then Darryl Wilson singled on a bunt back to the mound, advancing Stokes to second. Zachary Drummond came up to bat next and bunted again back to the pitcher, but this time, James Coleman miscalculated the throw and hit Drummond, scoring both Stokes and Wilson to give the Lions a 2-1 lead (Drummond advanced to third on the error). Jonathan Richey hit a sacrifice bunt to score Drummond and push Paine’s lead to 3-1. With two outs, William VanWinkle singled to right field to score Wilson. Tyler Padgett would end the Lions’ inning, grounding out to KSU shortstop, Ben Schroeder.
The Thorobreds played tough defense in the next five innings, holding Paine scoreless, but Paine’s defense was equally as tight, as the score remained 4-1 in favor of the Lions.
In the top of the eighth inning, the KSU bats got hot. With two outs, Davie came up to bat again and, like before, singled through the left side to score Clark. Davie advanced to second on a passed ball and then Matt Adel was walked. Andrew Bennett kept the inning going on sharp hit to shortstop, drawing William Gorman out of position and keeping him from making a throw.
Ben Tabb gears up for his double that would give the Breds a 5-4 lead.
With bases loaded and two outs, Dalton Self came in to pitch for Cameron McConnell and Demarcus Gibson pinch ran for Adel. Tabb came up to the plate, and with one swing, cleared the bases and gave KSU a 5-4 lead on a double down the right field line, scoring Bennet, Gibson and Davie. Bryan Berry then singled up the middle to score Tabb and give KSU a 6-4 lead. More than Paine’s coach could bear, Jeremy Lacey came in to pitch for Self, who got the Lions out of the inning without the Breds doing anymore damage in the eighth inning.
Paine answered in the bottom of the eighth, as Gorman and Wilson scored on a VanWinkle single up the middle. With two outs, Avery Wilson singled through the left side and scored Padgett to put the Lions ahead 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth Drummond flew out to right center ending the inning.
The Breds would neither end the game quietly nor would they allow Paine to get the best of them. Schroeder, Amey and Davie battled Lacey, all reaching base. With bases load and one out, Marshall Howard walked and Ben Schroeder scored to tie the game at seven. Padgett then moved from third base to pitch, but found the same luck as his teammate, walking Bennett and scoring Amey. KSU would go up 9-7 on a sacrifice fly to shortstop in shallow left field, scoring Davie.
In the bottom of the ninth, KSU’s defense was relentless. Richey popped up to Davie at first base for the first out in the Lions’ ninth. In a moment that took KSU fans’ breath away, Darren Wilson tripled to left field on a deep fly ball. In attempt to make the catch, left fielder, Andrew Ramsey hit the wall as the ball bounced off the wall and into left field. His teammates rallied around him as Berry made a catch in foul territory for the second out. Ramsey would redeem himself, catching a fly ball by Luis Serrano for the third out and the win.