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Beechwood splits final two games at All “A” Classic state tournament to bring home runner-up trophy

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Beechwood’s bid for another All “A” Classic state championship in baseball fell short Sunday when the Tigers lost to Pikeville, 10-7, in the title game at Eastern Kentucky University.

After falling behind 4-0 in the third inning, Beechwood (20-3) pulled to within one run three times without taking the lead. Pikeville (18-7) scored four runs in the sixth inning to jump ahead 10-5 and went on to win its first All “A” Classic state baseball title.

Beechwood junior Mitchell Berger, No. 5, prepares to tap helmets with teammate Nazario Pangallo after hitting a home run in the All “A” Classic title game. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

It was Beechwood’s seventh appearance in the championship game of the small school state tournament. The Tigers have won the title five times.

A three-run homer by Beechwood junior Mitchell Berger in the bottom of the third inning trimmed Pikeville’s early lead to 4-3.

After each team got one run in both the fourth and fifth innings, Pikeville scored four runs on singles and a bases loaded walk to open up a 10-5 lead in the sixth.

The Tigers got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth, but they weren’t able to score in the seventh. There were two runners on base when Pikeville got the final out.

Berger and junior shortstop Ben Meier both had three hits for the Tigers.

Meier had a lead-off double in the fifth inning and a run-scoring single in the sixth. Junior infielder Sam Cottengim and junior catcher Brice Estep each had a pair of hits with Cottingim getting two RBI.

Beechwood senior Tanner Jackson makes contact with a pitch during the All “A” Classic state championship game. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

In the state semifinal games played earlier on Sunday, Beechwood edged Danville, 2-1, and Pikeville clipped Lyon County, 3-1.

Berger was the winning pitcher in Beechwood’s semifinal game. After giving up a run in the first inning, he held Danville scoreless through the next five and picked up his sixth win in as many starts.

It was the lowest run total of the season for the Admirals (19-4), who defeated Beechwood in last year’s post-season state tournament.

In the seventh inning, Beechwood relief pitcher Torin O’Shea retired the first two batters he faced and junior center fielder Cameron Boyd made a running catch on a long fly ball to end the game.

Boyd led off the bottom the first inning with a home run and senior first baseman Tanner Jackson’s two-out single later in that inning drove in what proved to be the winning run for the Tigers.

PIKEVILLE        022 114 0 — 10 13 0
BEECHWOOD  003 112 0 —   7 14 1

WP — Clark. LP — Stacey. HITTING LEADERS: B — Berger 3-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI; Meier 3-3, 2 2B; Estep 2-4, Cottengim 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI. P — Walters 3-3, Wilkerson 4-4; Wright 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, Hall 2-3, 2 RBI. RECORDS: Beechwood 20-3, Pikeville 18-7.

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