VANCEBURG — Fleming County held off a pair of late-game Mason County rallies to capture the title at the 35th David Iery Classic on Saturday at Lewis County.
Mason County defeated East Carter 8-2 to begin the day’s play. Fleming County followed by out-lasting Lewis County 6-3 in eight innings. East Carter bounced back to win the consolation final 10-5 over Lewis County, before Fleming County captured the title in the night’s final game 9-8.
“Today at the David Iery Classic, we only had to throw three pitchers in two games,” Fleming County coach Austin Hart said. “We were throwing strikes. We weren’t walking very many batters and we were making plays in the field.”
The Panthers jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two and a half innings, but Mason County put four runs on the board in the bottom of the third highlighted by a two-RBI single from Royal game MVP J’Kari Gause.
Josh Hamm tied the score the next inning after he was sacrificed home by Buddy Morgan. Hamm led off the frame with a double just inside the left-field line.
Fleming County appeared to have taken control of the contest with five runs in the top of the sixth. Two-RBI singles by both Morgan and Andrew Jackson, and an fielder’s choice RBI from Panther game MVP Jonathan Maher, keyed the surge.
But, Mason County countered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Tanner Fearis came in to relieve Panther starting pitcher Josh Crump to start the seventh. Crump struck out eight and allowed six hits and three earned runs in his six innings on the mound.
The Royals’ Trey Cracraft walked and eventually scored on a wild pitch and Landon Bowling reached base on a fielders’ choice. The game ended on a controversial play as Carson Brammer reached first on an error, but was called out for runner interference as he turned toward second, waving off Cracraft’s apparent game-tying score.