By Harv Antle
LICKING – The Licking Wildcats advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament with an 11-0 win over the Forsyth Panthers on Wednesday night, May 24, at Deer Lick Park.
In a game that was suspended Tuesday night in the bottom of the third inning with two outs and Licking ahead 7-0, the Wildcats picked up where they left off.
Licking’s Silas Antle took the mound in place of Tuesday’s starter Keyton Cook, who was unavailable due to pitch count restrictions. The Wildcats added to their lead in the fifth with a Rusty Buckner solo home run.
Buckner singled in Cole Wallace in the sixth to put Licking up by nine. Antle followed with a 2-run shot to finish the scoring.
Antle returned to the mound and struck out the side to end the game on the run rule. Cook and Antle combined to no-hit the Panthers.
Cook gets the win, striking out five and walking one. Antle gets the save as he fanned five and walked none.
Offensively for Licking, Buckner led the way with a 4-for-4 performance that included a homer and five RBIs. Cole Wallace collected two hits and scored two runs, Malachi Antle had a hit and three runs scored, Silas Antle was 2-for-3 with a 2-run homer, and Keyton Cook was 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
STOCKTON – The Licking Wildcats punched their ticket to the Final Four on Thursday night in Stockton with an 11-1 victory over the Tigers.
Kellar Davis went the distance on the mound for Licking. The junior scattered five hits, walked one, and struck out three while allowing one run.
Stockton scored in the top of the third and threatened for more. Davis wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam by inducing a couple of ground outs to keep Licking within striking distance.
The Wildcats grabbed the lead with three runs in the fourth. Garret Gorman’s 2-run single keyed the inning.
Licking scored eight times in the bottom of the sixth. Malachi Antle’s double down the line in right scored two to cap the inning and end the game on the run rule.
Keyton Rinne went 2-for-2 with two runs scored for Licking. Antle was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, Rusty Buckner singled and scored twice, Keyton Cook singled and drove in a run, Davis collected a pair of hits, while Garrett Gorman drove in three runs and Logan Gorman ripped a 2-run single.
Licking improved to 25-6 with the win and will face the Barstow Knights Wednesday, May 31, at US Ballpark in Ozark in the Class 3 state semifinals.
Photos by Winter Murray