Shelby Valley's boys became the first Pike County basketball team to win a Sweet Sixteen championship three months ago.
Can Pikeville's baseball team make the same kind of history this week?
The Panthers' dreams of a state title are still alive after they mercy-ruled Greenup County 10-0 in the quarterfinals of the Forcht Bank/KHSAA State Tournament Wednesday in front of 2,803 at Applebee's Park.
"It'd be awesome to go out with a bang," senior outfielder Patrick Keene said.
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A child has led Pikeville's march to the semifinals.
Jacob Hamilton, an eighth-grade left-hander who had two innings of clutch relief in a first-round 8-7 win over Perry County Central, turned in a strong start against Greenup County.
The 14-year-old, whose fastball rarely touches 80 mph, muffled the Musketeers bats for 52⁄3 innings. He surrendered just four hits, walked four and struck out five.
"I throw strikes and my ball's moving on 'em," Hamilton said.
Greenup County Coach Greg Logan wouldn't argue.
"Well, it was moving from our bats, I'll say that.
"We kept looking up (at the radar numbers on the scoreboard) and it was 79 (mph) or 77, and we kept thinking we'd get him the next inning.
"Next thing you know it's the third, fourth and fifth, and we still haven't hit him."
Pikeville Coach Steve Priode is still awestruck by his pitcher.
"The kid is amazing," he said. "He had a one-hit shutout in the (15th) region championship, and here he throws a four-hit shutout."
Nothing seems to rattle Hamilton.
"His demeanor is so calm, cool and collected," Priode said.
Pikeville's robust bats had a settling effect on Hamilton, too. The Panthers blistered Greenup County's pitching from the start. They jumped ahead with three runs in the first, then poured it on with two in the fourth, four in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Gavin Miller, who hit his school-record ninth homer Monday, went 4-for-4 against the Musketeers and scored three runs. Keene had three hits and two runs. Steve Layne had two singles and two RBI.
"We've got a solid hitting team, 1-through-9," Priode said. "I have confidence in every one of them."
Is Pikeville confident enough to think it can win a state title?
Priode isn't about to get ahead of himself.
"When you take one game at a time, go step by step, you can get to the top," he said. "But if you overlook anybody at this level, somebody's gonna knock you off."
Pikeville 10, Greenup Co. 0
Greenup County 000 000 — 0 4 1
Pikeville 300 241 — 10 14 1
Dakota Greenslate, Devan VanBibber (4), Zack James (5), Jordan Perdue (5) and Jeremy Barr. Jacob Hamilton, Dustin Boyd (6), Tony West (7) and Taylor Ratliff. W—Hamilton. L—Greenslate. 2B—Scott McDonald (P), Patrick Keene (P).
Records—Pikeville 26-10; Greenup County 26-17.