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February 20, 2019

Mustangs Win Behind Matthews

The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs baseball team moved into sole possession of the top spot in the Mountain Six Conference baseball standings with a 4-0 win over Franklin on Tuesday. Mustangs pitcher Zebby Matthews pitched a no hitter through seven and one third innings before the Panthers Tye Chastain tapped a blooper into shallow center field. The Mustangs defense was sharp on the next play when Cody Strain smacked a hard grounder to second base which turned into a game ending double play and a shut out. The game had a shocking similarity to the first meeting between these two teams in 2017 when Panther’s Pitcher Hayden Price (now at Brevard) shut out the Mustangs while limiting them to four hits and no runs. Also in that game the Mustangs Cole Hooper pitched a no hitter through six and two thirds innings on a very cold night in Franklin before giving up back to back singles then a double to Rion Kussow which brought home Tyler Harrison for the 1-0 walk off win. The Panthers would not get the smile of lady luck on Tuesday night.
The Mustangs were able to muster a couple of runs in the second inning when Tristen Kenyon led off the inning with a double. This was followed with a bunt to the right side by J.D. Zimmerman which he beat out for a single and sending Kenyon to third. Kenyon scored on A sacrifice bunt to first. an error by the Panthers shortstop which allowed Zimmerman to score and Krupp to reach base and advance the runner to third. The Mustangs left two runners aboard including Krupp at third base. The pitchers dominated till the top of the seventh when Franklin went to Sanders to close; however the Panthers defense faltered allowing the fast running Mustangs to send two unearned insurance runs across the plate on no hits but two errors and two walks. The Mustangs defense was solid to shut out the panthers in the seventh. The Mustangs Travel to Tuscola on Thursday and Pisgah on Friday. Those games will be aired on WRGC 105.7 and 540.

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