Tyler McCullough pitched a gem on Tuesday. On a night where Middlesboro only garnered three hits, the sophomore pitcher threw a no-hitter while piling up 16 strikeouts to lead the Jackets to a 1-0 victory over Bell County.
A sacrifice fly by Logan Capps in the seventh inning scored the game winning run for Middlesboro. The Jackets are now 3-2 in their last five games after going 2-2 in the Cal Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
For Bell County, the Bobcats narrowly missed out on winning back-to-back games for the first time this season after defeating Pineville on Monday.
Capps, Brennan Hale and Daniel Webb collected the only hits of the game for the Jackets. Pitch-runner Van Ball scored the game winning run.
Chase Woolum and Jordan Smith split pitching duties for the Bobcats. Through four innings, Woolum tallied two strikeouts while allowing two hits. Smith closed out the game with two strikeouts, one hit and one run.
Middlesboro had an opportunity to put a run on the board early after Capps hit a single to right-center. He was left stranded on second following a strikeout from Matthew Mike and an out by Jacob Mike to close the top of the first.
The Jackets found themselves in a similar situation at the top of the second. With one out, Hale reached first on a single. He was left on base following a fly out to center field by Webb.
Matthew Mike found himself in scoring position after being hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. He advanced to third on a sac bunt from Chase Elliott with two outs. After Hale reached on a walk, Jacob Spurlock was threw out at first to end the top of the fourth.
Bell found their first base runner of the night in the bottom of the fifth when Smith was walked. He was later picked off trying to steal second.
After falling behind one run, the Bobcats had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Woolum reached first on a fielding error. The opportunity was quickly erased as McCullough picked up his 16th strikeout to end the game.
Middlesboro (8-5) will welcome Bell County (4-10) at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN