For Greenup County coach Greg Logan, two positives came out of Tuesday night’s game with Russell.
First and most importantly, his Musketeers earned the No. 2 seed in the upcoming 63rd District tournament. The second was Greenup County’s early offensive production against Red Devil top pitcher Alex Jones.
Other than that, Logan hopes to forget the rest of the Musketeers’ nearly three-hour and 309-pitch affair against Russell. Greenup County’s 15-6 win capped a two-day, two-game sweep of the Red Devils, as the Musketeers took Monday’s game 11-1 in five innings.
“I’m happy to come away with the win and lock up the two seed,” the coach said. “But I would like to flush the rest of it.”
Opening up a 13-1 advantage after just three at-bats, the Musketeers looked poised to make quick work of the Red Devils once again. But with the large lead, Logan opted to pull his starting pitcher, Tristan Downing, in hopes of keeping the Red Devils from getting acclimated to Downing before the district tournament, where the two will meet again.
After removing Downing, Greenup County struggled to find much success on the mound. Ethan Coldiron, the fourth pitcher used on the night, was able to stem the tide some, holding Russell scoreless over the final four innings.
In between Downing and Coldiron, Charles Frazier and Zach Hayden struggled to make it through the third inning in which they combined to allow five Russell runs.
“Ethan really wasn’t that sharp, either. He had some pop on his fastball, but I really didn’t want to go that route,” Logan said. “Frazier had been struggling a little bit, and I was hoping to send him out with a big lead and tell him to throw strikes and let them hit it. He did seem to be able to do that, so we went with Zach Hayden.
“Zach pitched two innings Friday night and five Saturday, so he was probably a little tired. We finally put Ethan out there and he didn’t have great stuff either, but somehow we managed to keep them scoreless the rest of the way.”
Musketeer pitchers combined for two hit batters and four walks.
Russell coach Mike Martino was even more displeased with his team’s pitching performance, especially Jones who lasted just 2 2-3 while allowing eight runs.
“When you have your No. 1 pitcher out there, you expect a better effort than that,” he said. “In the first inning, he had a ball hit right back to him and two missed throws on bunts. He is a senior. He has to control the game.”
In all, Russell pitchers issued eight free passes to go along with hitting two batters.
The Red Devil (10-14) fielders didn’t do much to help Jones, or any other of their pitchers, as they committed for six errors on the night.
Greenup County (14-14) put plenty of pressure on the Russell defense as it pounded out 12 hits, six of which went for extra bases.
“We did some really good things offensively. A lot of people had some good at-bats,” Logan said. “Offensively, I think we are playing pretty well, when you look at scoring 11 (Monday) night and 15 tonight.”
Korey Morris and Downing each tallied a pair of doubles for the Musketeers. Gage Hughes and J.T. Boggs also recorded an extra base hit. Hughes reached base safely in eight of his 10 plate appearances in the two-game series.
Heath Hensley recorded a pair of hits for the Red Devils, finishing the night 2-for-3 with a run scored.
GREENUP CO. 247 000 2 — 15 12 2
RUSSELL 015 000 0 — 6 5 6
Downing, Frazier (3), Hayden (3), Coldiron (4) and Coldiron, Shope (4). Jones, Daniels (3), McKee (5), Jaworski and Brinkman. W – Downing. L – Jones. 2B: Hughes (GC), Boggs (GC), Downing 2 (GC), Morris 2 (GC).