Rowan County coach Jason Davis wasn’t happy with his team’s first win against Greenup County this season. On Monday night, Davis watched as his team earned a true, legitimate victory against the Musketeers.
Rowan County smacked 14 hits and defeated Greenup County 13-8 on Monday at Greenup County High School.
The last time the two teams met, the Vikings had a 4-3 lead before the Musketeers scored four in the seventh as rain and hail forced the game to be called. Because Rowan County didn’t have a chance to bat in the bottom of the inning, the game went back to the 4-3 score and gave Rowan the win.
“Greenup is a wonderful ball club and their well coached,” Davis said. “I was not happy with that first win. I didn’t want to win like that and that’s what I told (Greenup County coach Greg Logan). It hurt me, it really did.
“This win proved to ourselves that we can beat anybody if we show up ready to play and hit the ball.”
With the game tied 1-1 in the second inning, Kyle Bowling led off with a double. Greenup County then committed an error, which allowed Tyler Arthur to score Bowling on a safety squeeze.
Devin Helvey scored another run on a sacrifice fly, then Rowan followed with back-to-back singles by Harold Chapman and Camron Planck and a sacrifice fly by Justin Graham.
By the end of the second inning, the Vikings had vaulted out to a 6-1 lead.
“We’re a base-hit ball club and we have to manufacture runs,” Davis said. “We have to pressure defenses to make plays and that’s what we did in the second inning ... but no amount of runs is safe with Greenup.”
Greenup County was pitching Will McCall for the first time since April 1, when he suffered a severely sprained ankle.
After McCall was cleared to play on Monday, Logan wanted him to start working to get the rust off. The senior lasted three innings on a pitch count and gave up six runs.
“Our main focus was to get him out there tonight and get 60 to 70 pitches out of him,” Logan said. “But we were hoping when we took him out there would zero runs for Rowan. It’s a process of getting him back out there and we wanted to get him out there as soon as possible.”
After falling behind early, the Musketeers answered with four runs in the in the third after a J.B. Brown sacrifice fly, a Kory Morris run-scoring single and a Jared Hunt infield RBI single.
After a Rowan County run in the fourth, Greenup County came back to tie the game up at 7-7 on the heels of RBIs by Brown and Morris.
But once again Rowan answered right back, as Planck hit a two-run double down the left-field line to put Rowan County on top in the fifth.
“Camron Planck is going to be a special player,” Davis said. “He’s a pitcher first and a baseball player second and he knows that. But he was big for us, especially being a freshman.”
Planck finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs and scored four times. Graham, Cornett and Barhorst all finished with two RBIs as well.
After Greenup scored another run in the bottom of the fifth, Rowan County brought in Planck to the mound. After the first two Vikings’ pitchers topped out their speed in the low 70s, Planck rocked back and fired in 84-MPH fastballs to close out the game.
“It looks more like 94,” Logan said. “When you seen one speed the entire game then they bring a guy in throwing 84, it looks 10 miles faster. But he threw the ball well and we had to have better at-bats.”
Rowan County added three insurance runs and built the lead up to an almost insurmountable margin for the Musketeers.
“It was just too much of a deficit to overcome,” Logan said. “But when you get down five in the last inning, you better have some sticks up there. And we just didn’t have the ammo.”
The one bright spot for the Musketeers was senior third baseman Seth Boyle, who came into the game leading Greenup County in RBIs. Boyle finished the game 4-for-4 with an RBI, three stolen bases and scored once. He had a chance to tie the game in the fifth but was intentionally walked.
“I wish he could have batted all nine times,” Logan said. “I’ve never had a kid go to the plate with so much confidence. They made a good call in walking him because he’s just seeing the ball really well.”
With a road win against one of the top teams in the 16th Region, Rowan County has added a marquee win to its resume heading into the stretch run in May.
ROWAN CO. 150 130 3 — 13 14 3
GREENUP CO. 104 210 0 — 8 10 4
Curry, Arthur (4), Planck (6) and Barhorst. McCall, Wireman (4), Glancy (6) and Hutchinson, Stiltner (6). W — Arthur. L — Wireman. 2B — Bowling (R), Planck (R), Cornett (R), Boyle (GC).