Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

May 22, 2013

62nd District baseball: Staton strives after storm

East senior starter returns to mound following delay

OLIVE HILL — East Carter’s Conner Staton hasn’t lost a 62nd District in his high school career. As a senior, he wasn’t going to let that change.

Staton pitched a complete game — one that was interrupted by an hour and 40-minute rain delay — to lead East Carter over Morgan County, 5-1, in the 62nd District championship on Tuesday at West Carter High School.

After play was halted because of lightning, East Carter coach Jeremiah Shearer originally was going to take Staton out of the game. But the senior found a way to talk his coach into letting him back on the mound.

“I was thinking while I was out there warming up (after the weather delay) that it was my senior year and I want to try and come out there and finish this game,” Staton said. “I told him my arm was feeling fine, but at first he told me no. He then brought me back in and asked me how my arm was feeling and I told him it was better than before we started and he said he was going to put me back in.

“It gave me butterflies because I knew I had a chance go out and finish the game.”

Staton not only finished the game, but he shut the door on Morgan County. In the final three innings after the delay, the senior allowed no hits and struck out four.

Overall, he allowed just two hits and struck out eight to pick up the win.

“We were leaning another way but Conner talked me out of it,” Shearer said. “I told him there are not a whole lot of pitchers I would have left out there, but he’s a competitor and you could see on his face that he had it.”

East Carter took an early 1-0 lead but was finding itself losing momentum heading into the fourth.

After hitting a double off the left-field fence, Morgan County’s Zach Bartley found himself at third. Staton then threw a wild pitch that allowed Bartley to score and tie the game up at 1-1.

The Cougars put a scare in East Carter with runners on first and third with two outs, as Larrin Collins hit a line drive to deep center field.

But before it could plate the two runs, center fielder Cole Brammer made a spectacular diving catch that saved East Carter from falling behind 3-1.

“That was the turning point in the game,” Shearer said. “He saved two runs, and instead of going down 3-1 in the rain delay, we’re tied at 1-1.”

In the bottom of the fourth, with two on and two out, lightning struck to prompt the lengthy delay.

After the delay, Morgan County coach Mark Easterling also decided to let Collins, the Cougars’ starter, back on the mound.

Brammer doubled to right field off Collins on a ball that was hard to handle because of the wet grass. It plated a pair of runs.

“That grass was a little wet and they put the ball in play and it gets by our outfielder,” Easterling said. “It’s a big momentum break right there in the game. East Carter is a good, solid team and they took advantage of situations we didn’t.”

East Carter added two more runs in the fifth, one on a run-scoring double by Cody McDavid and another by a Cole Boggs single up the middle.

After sitting around for almost two hours, the Raiders picked up five hits and four runs when they were able to take the field again. That’s pretty good if you ask Shearer.

“We talked about putting the pressure on Morgan County,” Shearer said. “We wanted to try and hit some balls on the ground and have them make some plays, and I thought we did that in the later innings and woke the bats up.”

The win marked the sixth straight 62nd District title for East Carter (17-16) and the 15th in the past 17 seasons. It will also be the Raiders’ 17th straight trip to the 16th Region Tournament.

Said Staton: “I wasn’t going to be the first one in six years to lose. That wasn’t going to happen. I wanted to win this for my team and my school.”

Morgan County (18-8) will also move on to the 16th Region Tournament, held at Ashland, starting on Monday.

MORGAN CO.    000    100    0    —    1    2    2

EAST CARTER    001    220    X    —    5    8    0

Collins, Kelsey (5) and Stamper. Staton and Wells. W — Staton. L — Collins. 2B — Bartley (M), McDavid (E), Brammer (E).

All-Tournament Team

Tanner Tackett (West Carter); Ryan Hanson (Morgan County); Larrin Collins (Morgan County); Zach Bartley (Morgan County); Conner Staton (East Carter); Cole Brammer (East Carter); Jesse James (East Carter); Derek Keller (East Carter).

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos