Mintz out-dueled Spring Garden’s Will Penton who struck out nine, walked one and allowed just four earned runs in seven innings of work.
Cedar Bluff scored three runs in the second inning and three in the fourth. Only three Panthers reached base. Penton and Will Ivey were hit by pitches and Jake Grogan reached on an error.
In the opener, each team scored a single run in the first inning. Spring Garden added three runs in the top of the second. Ahead 4-1, Spring Garden starting pitcher Andrew McLarty gave up his second and third walks of the game to start the second inning and Panthers coach Tony Benefield brought junior Grant Benefield into the game in relief. Benefield kept Cedar Bluff off the board in the second but the Tigers narrowed the deficit to 4-2 with a run in the fourth.
The wheels came off the bus for Spring Garden in the fifth when fielding lapses led to eight runs for Cedar Bluff. Each team scored one run in the sixth.
McLarty was 3-for-4 with a run to lead Spring Garden’s attack. His double was the only extra-base hit for the Panthers. Benefield had two hits, walked once and scored one run. Will Ivey and Chase Howell each had a hit, a walk and reached on an error. Ivey scored two runs and drove in one. Howell scored once. Grogan had a hit and an RBI and Riley Austin drove in a run.
Benefield gave up 10 runs, three earned, in five innings. He struck out five and walked three. McLarty allowed three hits and three walks in one plus innings.