Boyd County’s 1,000th all-time baseball victory came with an exclamation point.
The Lions pounded out 14 hits to beat Rowan County 14-4 in five innings Tuesday night at wind-whipped Addington Field.
Brandon Ramsey, the Lions’ fifth-year head coach, said the milestone achievement belongs to many people over the program’s proud history.
“I don’t think hundreds would do it,” Ramsey said. “It’s probably more like thousands. Along with all the players and coaches, you are talking about parents, boosters, school administrators and just general fans. They have all been a part of it.”
Ramsey himself has been closely involved with roughly half those wins.
Along with his 18 years as a head coach and assistant at Boyd County, Ramsey played four years for the Lions before going on to pitch at Marshall University.
“It means a lot to have been around for so much of this,” he said. “A thousand wins ... it’s good for the school and good for the program, a tribute to the hard work of a lot of people.”
Junior Jake Cook, playing his first game at Addington Field in a Boyd County uniform, certainly will never forget the night.
The Greenup County transfer hammered a three-run homer in his first trip to the plate, then added two doubles and a single.
“I can’t describe the feeling, especially coming off an 0-for-3 at Pikeville in our first game,” Cook said. “Me and (assistant) coach (Bryan) Hall worked yesterday trying to be short to the ball with my swing.”
Cook knocked in five runs and scored four times, including the game’s final run with no outs in the fifth inning.
His first varsity home run followed Dylan Grimm’s single and Jacob Barnwell’s first of three consecutive walks.
“I got behind in the count,” said Cook, who won the battle by driving a pitch over the left-field fence. “I thought the ball was going to hit the fence. I was going to try to get a triple out of it. That’s all I was thinking. As soon as I rounded first, coach Hall said ‘It’s outta here.’ ”
Said Ramsey later: “We didn’t have a home run all of last season. When Jake hit it, we didn’t know what to do. He’s a strong kid and aggressive hitter.”
Cook stayed hot with RBI doubles in the second and third innings on his way to a 4-for-4 night. Grimm, a sophomore, also enjoyed a big night at the plate with three hits. He smacked a run-scoring double in the second and scored three runs.
“What’s funny, Cook and Grimm had seven hits after going 0-for-6 at Pikeville with five strikeouts, and the other out was a pop up to the pitcher,” Ramsey said. “The guys who hit Friday, struggled tonight and the guys who struggled Friday, hit tonight.”
Boyd County, a 3-1 winner over Pikeville, scored five runs in the first inning of their home opener and tacked on five more in the second. Rowan County starter Harold Chapman retired only four of the 15 batters he faced.
Matt Blakeley’s RBI double capped the Lions’ big first inning. Boyd County send 10 batters to the plate in the second to make it 10-0.
Robbie Shivel pitched three innings to pick up the victory and also scored two runs. Evan Crum came off the bench to contribute two hits, beginning with a run-producing single in the Lions’ three-run third.
Rowan County slipped to 0-2. Vikings head coach Jason Davis pitched on Boyd County’s 1998 state runner-up team.
“I’ve known him since he was in the eighth grade,” said Ramsey, who was the Lions’ junior varsity coach at the time.
Jordan Cornett singled home Justin Graham and Kyle Bowling to highlight Rowan County’s three-run third inning. Blake Barhorst’s RBI single in the fifth temporarily extended the game before Boyd County finished it with consecutive singles from Cook, Crum and Johnson.
Boyd County plays host to Johnson Central on Friday at 6 p.m.
ROWAN CO. 003 01 — 4 5 3
BOYD CO. 553 01 — 14 14 2
Chapman, Arthur (2) and Barhorst; Shivel, Patton (4) and Barnwell. W—Shivel. L—Chapman. 2B—Graham (RC), Blakeley (BC), Grimm (BC), Cook 2 (BC). HR—Cook (BC).
Jake Cook leads Boyd County in program milestone
Boyd County’s 1,000th all-time baseball victory came with an exclamation point.
- Local Sports
Panthers pound Ashland for repeat trip to Rupp (with video)
The Fleming County Panthers waited nearly an hour to ascend the ladders set up under the goals at Ellis T. Johnson Arena on Tuesday night.
To the victor belongs the spoils, which traditionally includes the nets after winning a tournament title. But Fleming County milled around on Morehead State’s floor taking pictures and soaking in the atmosphere after handling Ashland 82-59 in the 16th Region Tournament final.
Snipping the twine was almost an afterthought. In fact, except for a minute or so of celebration with their student section immediately following the final buzzer, the Panthers didn’t really even seem all that excited.
They expected to be here, and they were all business after earning back-to-back region titles and trips to Rupp Arena.
AARON SNYDER: Truth or Dare unkind to ’Cats
Ashland was left feeling like the shy kid after an intense game of Truth or Dare.
Truth: Fleming County outrebounded Ashland, 39-24, after Ashland outdueled Greenup County by 10 the night before.
'Relaxed' Steward earns MVP award
Both Fleming County coach Mark Starns and stellar senior Troy Steward attributed his significant strides this season to aggressiveness.
Playing a part, too, in Steward earning the 16th Region Tournament Most Valuable Player award was the lack of nerves, which were nearly overwhelming at times a year ago.
Central's 15th Region reign continues
Once was good.
Twice was nice.
Three was sweet for the Johnson Central Eagles.
Senior Slade McPeek scored 22 points and earned most valuable player honors Tuesday night as Johnson Central rolled past Shelby Valley, 81-56, for its third straight 15th Region championship at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
- Fleming goes for two: Panthers beat Ashland for 16th Region repeat Fleming County pulled away early and never looked back as the Panthers pounced on Ashland, winning 82-59 in the 16th Region championship game on Tuesday in Morehead. Fleming County will face Scott County in the Sweet Sixteen next Wednesday at Rupp Arena.
VIDEO: 16th Region semifinals highlights
Fleming County defeated Lewis County, 66-58, and Ashland beat Greenup County, 81-61, on Monday night at Morehead State University to set up tonight's championship matchup. Tipoff is set for 7.
Ashland cruises past Greenup to 16th Region championship game
Tyler Stewart is known for his unrelenting hustle as one of Ashland’s glue guys.
When the senior guard can pitch in some offense too, as he did Monday in the 16th Region Tournament semifinals, that’s just one more problem for Tomcats opponents.
Stewart scored 20 points, senior Steven Friley posted a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Ashland outscored Greenup County 21-9 in the third quarter to break open what was a seven-point game at halftime and cruise past the Musketeers, 81-61.
Fleming battles back to 16th Region final
A healthy Wilder Williams this season has given Fleming County a whole new dimension.
Prior to his sophomore year, Williams sustained a football injury that resulted in three ankle surgeries and limited him to bench duty last season while the Panthers made their run to the 16th Region championship.
A physical 6-foot-3 player, Williams is making his presence felt around the basket as Fleming County looks to return to the Sweet Sixteen.
AARON SNYDER: Will the next hero be unmasked?
Who will the bat signal shine for tonight?
Or, should I say, the Cat signal?
In the third installment of a trilogy that might rival the Batman three-pack of “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” Fleming County and Ashland will battle in a matchup that has produced a classic clash in each of the last two 16th Region Tournaments.
If the first two collectively served as a gradual progressions to tonight’s scene, the climax could be off the charts.
Corey Gregg was Ashland’s superhero in 2012, when the senior confidently fired a perfect 3-point shot from the right corner. The triple thrust the Tomcats and Panthers into overtime, from which Ashland emerged 79-73 in a first-round game.
Central wins, Lawrence falls in 15th
The biggest concern for Lawrence County coach Josh Cook was staying out of foul trouble.
His team stayed in it all night, and it cost them a spot in the 15th Region title game.
Shelby Valley senior Tyler Carr led four players in double figures with 19 points as the Wildcats knocked off Lawrence County, 72-60, in the semifinals of the 15th Region Tournament at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
“This one hurts,” said Cook. “We’ll learn from this, and I have no doubt that our kids will get back here and finish the job.”
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- Panthers pound Ashland for repeat trip to Rupp (with video)