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Sat, Mar 25, 2017 08:48 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
Cards pay back Pikeville, 8-4
PIKEVILLE — Coach Mike Hall's Sheldon Clark Cardinals posted their third win of the young season Saturday at Pikeville as the Cards erupted for five runs in the second inning to double up the Panthers 8-4.

The Panthers ended the Cardinal season (26-8) last year in the first round of the 15th Region Tournament with a 12-5 decision, so Saturday's road win gave the Cardinals a little payback for last season's unexpected early exit.

Freshman phenom Brandon May tossed a gem for the Cardinals on the mound as he went the distance allowing the Panthers four runs in seven innings, but only one run was earned. The ninth grader fanned 10, walked two, scattered seven hits and retired the last nine batters in a row through the last three innings of the 15th Region contest.

While May kept the Pikeville bats in check, the Cardinal offense pounded out eight runs on 12 hits, including five runs on four hits in the second canto. Senior shortstop Anthony Potter waved the big stick for the Cards as he swatted a double and a single for three RBI, stole a base and scored a run.

First baseman Steven Howell also clubbed two hits in three trips to the platter as the junior lined a triple and a single and scored two runs. Cardinal center fielder Travis Carter started the game with a single to right field and scored on Potter's single to center as the Cards grabbed a 1-0 lead.

Pikeville responded with two runs in the home half of the first. Brandt Spears singled and stole two bases while Jarod Fraser walked. Both scored on Jay Wallen's misplayed flyball to center as the Panthers took a 2-1 margin.

The Cards erupted for five runs in the top of the second as third baseman Robert Howell, left fielder Phillip Lawson, right fielder Kyle Horn, Carter and Potter crossed the plate. Potter and catcher Jamie Jarrett drove in three of the five runs as Potter laced a two run double while Jarrett lined a RBI single as the Cards jumped out to a 6-1 advantage.

The Panthers touched May for a earned run in the bottom of the second and an unearned run in the home half of the third to trim the deficit to 6-4. May didn't let the Panthers get to him as he blanked Pikeville over the last three innings, retiring nine in a row.

The Cardinals tacked on a run in the fifth as Howell singled and scored on Lawson's single to right. Howell belted a triple to lead off the seventh and scored on a wild pitch as the Cards racked up the 8-4 victory.

Along with Potter and Howell's performance at the plate, the Cardinals also got two hits from second baseman Brian Fletcher and Horn as both collected two singles each. May also helped himself with a single in the second inning.

Spears led the Panthers at the plate with three singles as Wade McCowan, Jessie Parrish, Chad Wells and Justin Anderson cracked a single each. McCowan took the loss on the mound for Pikeville as he allowed six runs on seven hits in four innings of work.

The Cardinals return to the diamond action as they battle East Carter today, Wednesday, and match up Friday with Whitley County in the Foothills Invitational Tournament.

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