OC solves Pioneer puzzle at right time

OC solves Pioneer puzzle at right time
OC solves Pioneer puzzle at right time

Obion Central’s Garrett Osborne is caught in a rundown during Wednesday’s victory.
The third time proved to be the charm for Obion Central against Gibson County.
The Rebels, who lost both of their regular season meetings against GC, solved the Pioneer puzzle in a 12-6 triumph in the District 13AA Tournament’s play-in game Wednesday evening.
Obion Central (9-19) now advances into the double-elimination portion of the tournament — hosted by Dyersburg High School — where it will face Milan at 7 tonight.
On Wednesday, Central’s top four hitters cracked the bats hard with the quartet of K.C. Covington, Andrew Heuck, Caleb Joost and Brady Boucher finishing the game a combined 11-for-16 with 10 runs scored and seven batted in.
The game’s turnaround moment involved the two of the team’s top hitters. With the Rebels down 4-1 in the top of the third, Joost singled with Boucher following with a double that banged off the bottom of the outfield fence.
With two on and one out, catcher Brandon King then evened the count at 4 with a home run to left field.
From that point on, OC was in full control with Adam Alexander — pitching in relief of Zach Cloar and Patrick Haskins — retiring 11 straight Pioneer hitters from the third inning through the sixth.
Meanwhile, Central went ahead for good in the top of the fourth. Covington singled with one out and was chased home by Heuck for the go-ahead run.
Joost then plated Heuck with a safety to give the Rebs a two-run cushion.
“All season long, we’ve prepared for this moment when we’d have to win a game like this to extend our season,” Rebel head coach Russ Davis said after the triumph. “Defensively is where we’ve struggled all year and tonight we kept our errors in check and did damage control and got out of any jams we created for ourselves.”
For the game, Joost came to the dish five times and reached each time with a total of three hits, two walks, three RBI and three runs.
Meanwhile, Boucher went 3-for-5 with a double, two ribbies and two runs scored. Central’s other players who scored multiple runs were Covington (three) and Heuck (two).
Alexander, who tossed 51/3 innings with five strikeouts and was credited with the victory, crossed the pay station once, while Ethan Davis accounted for two ribbies for the Rebels.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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