HUNTSVILLE — King's Academy earned a 5-4 win in nine innings here Thursday evening, spoiling Scott High's late-game comeback.
The Sevier County private school built a 4-1 lead through the first two innings, only to see the Highlanders storm back to tie the game at four and give themselves a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh, the final inning of regulation.
But King's Academy's pitching shut down Scott's production at the plate, and the stalemate finally ended when the visitors scored in the top of the ninth inning, then held Scott scoreless in the bottom half of the inning.
King's Academy scored two runs in each of the first two innings, building a 4-1 lead. The Highlanders' only run to that point came on a run by Jordan Puckett in the bottom of the first.
Puckett started the game with a leadoff single, followed by Aaron Carson and Jon Hamblin both walking on balls to load the bases. After two outs, Billy Hall was hit by a pitch, forcing Puckett home.
The Highlanders left two runners stranded in scoring position, which would ultimately come back to haunt them.
After the side was retired in order in the bottom of the second, Carson walked to start the third inning, and was later stranded in scoring position after reaching third.
The Highlanders cut into the 4-1 deficit in the bottom of the fourth, when Cameron Trammell walked and later scored.
Scott tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Carson and Hamblin both walked, with Carson scoring on a sacrifice RBI by Hayden Byrge and Hamblin scoring as well. The Highlanders again stranded a runner in scoring position, after Hall reached base on a single and later advanced to second.
The Highlanders saw King's Academy throw out two runners who were in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh. In the bottom of the eighth, Jordan Todd got aboard on a base hit and was advanced to scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Strunk, but was stranded there.
Hamblin walked in the bottom of the ninth and advanced to scoring position, but the Highlanders ran out of outs with Hamblin on third.
Still, the game featured a number of positives for an up-and-coming Highlander team against a quality King's Academy program, not the least of which was recording 22 consecutive outs without giving up a run.