It's been three years since McCracken County last lost a game to a team from the First Region, and Daniel Myatt had every intention to continue that streak when he stepped to the plate in the seventh inning Tuesday night.
In a tie game between the Mustangs and Paducah Tilghman, Myatt's one-out single to left field scored pinch-runner Kiel Waldon for the walk-off 2-1 victory.
Myatt drove in both Mustang runs during the game and, along with the clutch pitching from Caleb Reinhardt and Luke Seed, paced McCracken to its 10th win in its last 11 games.
"I was confident there going up there to begin with," Myatt said of his final at-bat versus Tilghman ace Isaac Humphrey. "My second and third at-bats I popped up, and that fourth one I knew I needed to stay on top of the ball and get the job done."
Tilghman's lone error of the game put Mason Vinyard on first base with one out in the seventh, leading to Waldon taking his place on the bag. A ground out from Nathan Bynum moved Waldon to second before the Blue Tornado opted to intentionally walk Rook Ellington to set up the force out.
But Myatt's confidence showed, as he ripped his hit off Humphrey to seal the victory.
"Daniel has been doing a good job for us and has probably been our most consistent hitter. We felt real good with Daniel there," McCracken head coach Geno Miller said. "I walked up to give him some encouragement and he stopped me and said, 'Coach, I've got it.' Him, a senior who has been a part of two regional championship teams â ¦ what a great spot for him to come in and get the job done."
The game had its dramatics late, but for the better part of seven innings, the pitchers controlled things. Caleb Reinhardt pitched the first six innings for the Mustangs, and Humphrey went the distance for the Blue Tornado.
Humphrey allowed extra-base hits to the first two batters he saw -- Ellington and Myatt -- but was in control for the remainder of the game. He retired nine in a row at one point, holding the Mustangs to just five hits.
Just as sharp was Reinhardt, who consistently pitched out of jams. He stranded two in scoring position to begin his outing, and while Tilghman scored off him in the fifth inning off a sacrifice fly from Jackson Fristoe, he stranded the bases loaded to keep the game tied at 1.
When the top of the order came up for Tilghman in the seventh, Miller went with his other ace, Luke Seed, for a change of pace. The heater was on for Seed, as he struck out all three batters he faced.
"Even on their off days, they fight. They fight through it and get the outs when we need them. They've been dominant all season," Myatt said of Reinhardt and Seed.
Following Myatt's game-winner, McCracken has now won 34 games in a row against First Region opponents.
Tilghman 000 100 0 1 3 1
McCracken 100 000 1 2 5 0
WP: Seed. LP: Humphrey.
2B: PT-Lang, Riffe; M-Myatt. 3B: M-Ellington. Top hitters: M-Ellington 2-3 (R), Myatt 2-4 (2 RBI). Records: Tilghman 10-4, McCracken 13-4.
Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...