Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

July 11, 2014

Junior Sixers win state opener

CALVERT CITY — After an Independence Day-like performance last weekend in the Cliff Webb Memorial Baseball Tournament, Ashland Post 76 Juniors’ outing in the opening round of the American Legion state tournament Friday afternoon with Oldham County wasn’t as stellar.

But Post 76 traded punches with Oldham County before finally taking the lead for good in the fifth inning en route to a 9-3 win.

Jacob McKee got the nod on the bump for the Sixers but was chased after allowing three runs over three innings as Oldham County held a 3-2 lead. Post 76 turned to Austin Brinkman in relief and he answered the call by surrendering only two hits over the final four frames.

“We hadn’t played since the Sunday of the Fourth of July tournament and were sluggish starting off,” Sixers coach Mark O’Bryan said. “We put ourselves in an early hole. McKee wasn’t as sharp as he’s been all year but was serviceable. Brinkman took over in the fourth trailing 3-2 and held Oldham County at three runs for the remainder of the game.”

Daniel Rutherford led the Sixers offensively, finishing 2-for-2 with a single, double, and three RBIs.

Post 76 tallied eight of its 12 total hits in the final two frames, including a five-run sixth inning when 10 batters went to the plate.

Brock Damron led off the sixth by getting hit by a pitch and would be the 10th batter in the inning as he lifted his second hit of the day into right field for a RBI single. He also had a ground-rule double in the fourth.

Post 76 awaits the winner of host Tri-County and Paducah in the semi-finals of the winner’s bracket today at 11 a.m., and O’Bryan said his pitching is set up just how he wanted for that contest.

“We feel good about where we are pitching-wise,” O’Bryan said. “We have Andrew Rice — which we consider our ace — going tomorrow, so we are right where we wanted to be after this game.”

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