Since returning from a 1-5 road trip in Florida, Boyd County has been one of the hottest team in the area. Thursday’s district opener added an exclamation point to that statement.
Boyd County had 18 hits as the Lions defeated Fairview 21-0 at Ernie Chattin Field in Ashland’s Central Park in the 64th district opener for both teams.
The win is the sixth straight for the Lions, who haven’t lost since returning from Florida and have outscored opponents 73-13 during the winning streak.
After struggling down south, Ramsey said there can be plenty of reasons that his team has had a resurgence since returning home.
“I guess we like the cold weather better,” Ramsey said. “I think it’s just being comfortable that we’re back home and getting the trip over with. I think they’ve done a good job of having amnesia as far that trip goes.”
Boyd County opened the first inning with two runs off back-to-back singles by Jacob Barnwell and Dylan Grimm.
Then in the second inning, the Lions exploded for 14 runs. Boyd County batted through the order twice as Fairview couldn’t get an out until the 15th batter in the inning.
Ramsey said the inning was a perfect example of what his team’s been doing since returning from Florida — putting the bat on the ball.
“We’ve been hitting the ball well,” Ramsey said. “Once we got through the first guy, I thought we could put some runs up. We’ve been doing a lot better offensively the past few weeks. It’s surprising to get that many hits, but I know we’ve been swinging the bats pretty well.”
Lions’ centerfielder Grimm seemed the most comfortable at the plate, going 4-for-5 with two singles, a double and a triple.
He finished the game with six RBIs and knocked in four alone in the second inning.
“We expected this at the beginning of the year,” Grimm said. “We thought this was the way we were going to be playing. We’re on a roll right now and hopefully we can keep it going into the postseason.”
While Grimm had the impressive numbers, the entire Lions’ team contributed.
Leadoff batter Robbie Shivel went 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs and three runs, Jacob Barnwell went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and pitcher Billy McCoy went 2-for-3 with a double and scored three times.
Even more impressive for the Lions in the second inning was the entire starting lineup crossed the plate before an out was recorded.
“All the guys, one through nine, down under me and coming back through the list, we all can hit,” Grimm said.
While the game was a gem offensively for the Lions, McCoy picked up the win with a strong outing on the mound.
The junior threw four innings, striking out six while giving up six hits and no runs. Ramsey said he usually would have taken a pitcher out in this situation, but he wanted McCoy to get some work in.
“We wanted him to get his innings,” Ramsey said. “We considered taking him out after a few innings, but we wanted him to get his pitch count up and work his stamina up. I thought he looked better as the game went on.”
Fairview was led by Brandon McDaniel and Alex Roy, who both went 2-for-3 in the game. The Eagles had runners in scoring position in two innings, but never could capitalize.
The blistering win was sweet revenge for Boyd County (10-7) after being swept in the regular season series by Fairview (3-10) last season. The Eagles actually picked up their first win in 30-plus seasons over Boyd County last year.
Ramsey said after finishing the district regular season without a win last year, it’s good to start this season’s slate off with a win.
“Considering we were 0-4 last year in the district, getting that first win is nice,” Ramsey said.
Boyd County will be in action again tonight when it travels to Rowan County. Fairview is on the road tonight against Morgan County.
BOYD CO. 2(14)1 40 — 21 18 0
FAIRVIEW 000 00 — 0 6 1
McCoy, Alley (5) and Barnwell, Patton (5). Freeman, Harris (2), Menshouse (2), Roy (5) and Burke, Russell (5). WP — McCoy. LP — Freeman. 2B — Shivel 2 (BC), Grimm (BC), McCoy (BC). 3B — Grimm (BC)