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).