Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

May 15, 2014

Boyd enjoys feast in fifth

CANNONSBURG — After every hard-hit ball that resulted in an out and/or a frustrating scoreless inning, Boyd County coach Brandon Ramsey simply reminded his team to stay patient.

The Lions hitters had racked up plenty of quality at-bats against Russell starter Justin Fraley, but had little to show for their efforts. Boyd County had managed to push just one run across in the first four innings against the Red Devil right-hander.

In the fifth inning, the Lions’ persistence finally paid off as they scored six times in the home half of the inning, propelling them to a 7-4 victory over Russell at Addington Field.

“We had several good at-bats early, and they made some good plays on us,” Ramsey said. “We told them to just stay after it, keep getting good pitches to hit, and the hits will start falling eventually.”

The hard-hit balls that found Red Devil fielders in the first four frames finally did fall in the fifth as the Lions collected four base hits.

Brock Damron drove in a pair of runs with a single to center field. Jake Cook, one of four seniors honored before the game, drove in the fifth run of the inning with double into the left-field gap. One batter later, classmate Corey Harper scored Cook with a single down the left-field line.

”That is just how baseball is sometimes. You have a really good at-bat and still don’t have anything to show for it,” said Ramsey, whose team improved to 18-14 on the season. “You just have to tell yourself they will eventually fall. We did a good job staying at it tonight.”

Allowing one poor inning determine the outcome of the game has been an all too familiar story for Russell coach Mike Martino.

“That’s the thing that has been happening for about the last month or so,” he said. “We just have one bad inning that puts us behind the 8-ball.”

The Red Devils (11-18) tried to battle back in the top of the seventh, but managed just one run before Dylan Grimm shut the door one final time with a strikeout of No. 3 hitter Jacob McKee.

Grimm pitched a complete game for the Lions. He allowed three earned runs while striking out five.

The only inning in which Grimm struggled was the second, when Russell scored three times. Landon Brewer and Nick Conley both delivered RBI singles after the inning started with an error and a walk.

Conley, who finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored, is a catalyst for Russell out of the nine spot in the batting order.

“Nick plays hard whether it is practice or a game. It doesn’t matter. He just goes full out,” Martino said. “He is the catalyst, which is why he is down there. We aren’t trying to hide him. He is down there to get on base and try and make something happen.”

Ramsey said it is tough to limit an opponent offensively with two negative plays to start an inning.

“We had an error to start the inning and then backed it up with a walk. Then they were able to string together some hits,” he said. “It’s hard to make an error and then back it up with a walk and not think the other team is going to take advantage of it. You would have to be very fortunate to get out of something like that.”

After the rough second inning, Grimm found his rhythm and kept Russell scoreless for the next four innings.

“He hadn’t pitched in a while, so we wanted to leave him out there and let him get a feel for what he was doing,” Ramsey said. “His last 50 pitches were much better than his first 50.”

 

RUSSELL    030    000    1    —    4    5    2

BOYD CO.    001    060    x    —    7    8    2

Fraley, Daniels (5), Brewer (5) and Brinkman; Grimm and Barnwell. W—Grimm. L—Fraley. 2B—Hensley (R), Cook (BC).

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