For The Independent
Corey Sublett was looking to get back in a groove with his first start of the year on Monday night.
After his strong performance, you might say he was feeling mighty groovy.
Sublett pitched five near-flawless innings as Boyd County roared past Lewis County, 8-0, in a 16th Region showdown at Addington Field.
The senior right-hander retired the first 11 batters of the game. He gave up only two hits and recorded a strikeout.
Sublett is recovering from ACL surgery last fall. Doctors released him just before the Lions left for Florida over Spring Break.
“It felt good to get back on the mound,” said Sublett. “I just wanted to come out and do what I know how to do.”
Sublett received all the offense he needed in the first inning with the help of his hot-hitting teammates. Boyd County scored five runs as nine Lions batted in the inning.
Robbie Shivel led off the first with a single and advanced to third on a soft grounder back to the pitcher by Trevor Mullins. Shivel appeared to be caught in a rundown but was able to outrun the infielder to third base.
After Jacob Barnwell drew a walk to load the bases, Dylan Grimm ripped a single into center field scoring Shivel and Mullins. Barnwell also scored after the Lewis County third baseman mishandled the relay throw.
Boyd County still wasn’t done. Jacob Cook also drew a free pass and both Grimm and Cook scored on consecutive RBI groundouts by Matt Blakeley and Billy McCoy.
“It was a good feeling to go out and score five runs in the first inning so we could relax a little bit,” said Boyd County coach Brandon Ramsey. “I thought we could score a lot of runs tonight, maybe not this many.”
The Lions continued its scoring barrage in the fourth. Mullins went for extra bases as he sneaked a double just inside the third base line. Barnwell hit a bloop single that dropped in front of the center fielder, sending Mullins home. Grimm then lined a single to center for his second hit of the game, scoring Barnwell from second.
Boyd County added a final run in the fifth to set the final score and increase its winning streak to five games.
When asked about its recent success, the Lions’ coach thinks there is no place like home.
“We are back home where we feel more relaxed,” said Ramsey. “We changed the lineup when we got back from Florida. I feel the guys are now in better spots to succeed.”
Grimm has benefited from the new lineup. He went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and is batting a sizzling .642 with 14 RBIs during the current streak.
Lewis County pitcher Isaac Weddington could never fully recover from the disastrous first inning. The sophomore tallied eight earned runs and four walks.
Before the game, former players and coaches were invited onto the field as Boyd County celebrated the program’s 1,000th victory earlier this year against Rowan County. Former standouts, Caleb Stewart and Ronnie Mullins, threw out the first pitches.
LEWIS CO. 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
BOYD CO. 500 210 x — 8 7 0
Weddington, Duncan (5) and McCann; Sublett, Duncan (6) and Barnwell. W—Sublett (BC) L—Weddington (LC). 2B—Mullins (BC).