Old scorebooks, part 8: Little ol’ Paintsville beats the big boys
When Paintsville won the Sweet Sixteen championship in 1996, the Tigers showed that a Class A-size school could compete with the big boys in basketball and come out on top.
Paintsville had already proved that point in baseball six years earlier when it won the state title, knocking off big-city schools Pleasure Ridge Park and Tates Creek in the final four at UK’s Shively Field.
Coach Charlie Adkins’ Tigers, who were runners-up to Lafayette in 1989, finished the job in 1990.
They beat PRP 5-0 in the semifinals as Walt Crace blanked the Panthers on five hits.
Paintsville came back the next day and whipped Tates Creek 10-4. The Tigers erupted for six runs in the fourth inning, with Matt Williams and Jeremy Holbrook contributing RBI hits. Billy Phelps and Tucker Howard added solo home runs later in the game.
Mickey VanHoose (9-0) got the victory for Paintsville, with relief help from Howard.
Tates Creek pitcher Marcus Robinson (11-1) suffered his first loss of the year. He had thrown a no-hitter against Paintsville in the regular season, but he wasn’t quite himself in the rematch. After Tates Creek’s semifinal against Glasgow was suspended because of rain the night before, Robinson was called upon to work two innings of relief in the completion of that game (which the Commodores won 11-3 after scoring eight runs in the fifth) only two hours before the finals began.
This was the fifth time Adkins had guided Paintsville to the final four, but this was the first time he celebrated a championship.
“This was the one I’ve been waiting for,” he said. “This was it.
“We’re finally state champions and that means the whole city of Paintsville will be rocking tonight.”
Here are the scorebook pages from that game, which was played on June 9, 1990:
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