Dragons eliminate Wildcats

The Clinton Dragons repaid Oak Ridge with interest on Monday night when they beat the Wildcats 7-5 and eliminated them from the District 3-3A Tournament.

A loss to Oak Ridge sent the Dragons into the loser’s bracket on Thursday.

After the Wildcats scored twice in the first inning to force a Clinton pitching change, the Dragons responded in the second inning with four runs.

With two outs, Chase Lockard doubled to center. Winston Henderson followed with a base hit to move Lockard to third. Jacob Brock then singled up the middle to plate Lockard and move Henderson to second, who then swiped third. Courtesy runner Jon Webb took second on the double steal.

Austin Pemberton then singled to score both runners and took second on the throw home. Isaiah Murphy then lined a shot to center to score Pemberton.

Oak Ridge managed a run in the third and another in the fourth to tie the game at 4-4.

In the top of the fifth Murphy led-off with a base hit and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Trey Herrell. Alex Burton singled up the middle. The base runner was cut down at home but Burton took second on the throw to the plate.

Tyler Davis then drilled a base hit to score Burton and give the Dragons a 5-4 lead.

With one out in the sixth, Henderson walked and Pemberton singled. A wild pitch moved both runners up a base. Murphy singled again to score Henderson and move Pemberton to third. A couple of pitches later, Pemberston scored on a wild pitch to give Clinton a 7-4 lead.

The Wildcats managed a run in the bottom of the seventh but Austin Kelly quelled the rally.

Kelly pitched a tremendous game in relief. He went seven innings and allowed three runs on 10 hits with eight strikeouts.

Murphy led the Dragons with three hits to go along with two RBI. Pemberton was 2-3 with two RBI while Brock was 2-3 with one run driven in.

With the Clinton advanced to the final four of the district tournament. They were scheduled to face number one seed Karns on Tuesday. The Courier News will have game story in next week’s edition.

The Dragons eliminated Campbell County from the tournament last Friday, winning by a score of 12-2 in six innings.

Clinton scored two runs in the third to go up 2-0 and blew the game open in the third as Pemberton, Murphy, Burton, and Webb each drove in at least one run to make it a five-run inning and a 7-0 lead.

After the Cougars scored two in the top of the fifth, the Dragons answered with one in the bottom of the inning and four more in the bottom of the sixth to end the game under the mercy rule.

Burton got the win as he pitched six innings (78 total pitches) and allowed two runs on five hits with five strikeouts. At the plate he was 2-2 with a double and two RBI.

Pemberton led the Dragons in hits with a 3-4 performance and an RBI.

Murphy went 1-3 with a triple and two RBI while Herrell was 2-2 with a double and an RBI.

Webb was 2-3 with two doubles and four runs driven in. Henderson was 2-3 with a double.

Harber and Davis each had a hit.

It was a tough opening round of the District 3-3A Tournament for the Clinton Dragons as they fell to Oak Ridge by a score of 17-6.

The Dragons had high hopes early as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. With two outs, Herrell singled. Burton and Davis each drew walks to load the bases and Shea Harber tripled to clear the bases. Harber scored on a base hit by Lockard.

A base hit and a hit batsman gave the Wildcats runners on first and second with no outs in the bottom of the first. A sacrifice bunt moved runners to second and third. They scored on a single by Ian Campbell to cut the Clinton lead in half at 4-2.

The Dragons added a run in the top of the second when Murphy drilled a two-out double and then scored on an RBI-double by Herrell.

The bottom of the second was a disaster for Clinton as Oak Ridge scored six runs, despite Herrell notching a rare four strikeout performance in the inning — a third strike was dropped allowing a runner to reach first.

Leading 8-5 in the third, the Wildcats tacked on another run when Logan Williams reached on a fielder’s choice. He scored on an RBI-double by Chris Van Hook to make it 9-5 in favor of Oak Ridge.

Oak Ridge added three more in the bottom of the fourth when Jacob Ownby singled, Jonathan Milloway walked, and Donovan Black singled in a run with no outs. Two outs later, Williams singled to score two more runs and make it a 12-5 lead for the Wildcats.

Oak Ridge managed to tack on a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth inning — on hits by Milloway. That ended the game in six innings under the mercy rule.

Herrell took the loss as he went three innings and allowed 12 runs (seven earned) on 12 hits with six strikeouts.

At the plate, Herrell was 2-3 with a double and an RBI.

Williams got the win in relief for the Wildcats. He pitched five innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits with seven strikeouts.

At the plate, Williams was 3-5 with four RBI.

For the Dragons, Harber had a triple and three RBI while Lockard and Henderson each had an RBI.

Milloway led Oak with three hits (two doubles) and five RBI.

The Dragons wrapped up the regular season on Tuesday with a 2-1 win at Kingston.

Clinton took the lead in the first inning when Alex Burton singled in a run.

The Dragons added to their lead in the second when Brock drove in a run with a base hit.

Kelly held Kingston to just one run on four hits in five innings of work. He struck out five and walked none on his way to the win.

Lockard pitched two innings of scoreless relief and earned the save.

Burton led the Dragons with two hits. Brock, Jon Webb, and Spencer Byrd also had hits for Clinton.