Russell senior left-hander Alex Jones is no stranger to throwing to tough competition.
Jones came through with a fine performance against Lawrence County on Thursday in leading the Red Devils to an 8-3 win.
Jones tallied 11 strikeouts, walked five and gave up three hits. He allowed just one hit over the final four innings.
“He got more confident as the game went along,” said Russell coach Mike Martino. “We know that when we have him on the mound, we’ve got a really good chance to win.”
Lawrence County’s Adam Cavins blasted a two-run home run in the first inning, but Jones settled down shortly after that.
Russell (4-7) got two hits and three RBIs from freshman Nick Conley. Bobby May added a pair of RBIs.
Austin Brinkman broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI double to left field. The catcher was 2-for-3. The Red Devils plated five runs in the sixth before Jones struck out two batters and induced a groundout in the seventh.
“It was a big win, no doubt about it,” Martino said. “But it’s baseball. You don’t want to get too high, and you don’t want to get too low. We have a motto that is to bring a good attitude every day and get better every day. I think these guys can do that.”
Russell takes on East Carter and Sheldon Clark at noon and 2:30 p.m., respectively, at home on Saturday.
Lawrence County (11-4) hosts Letcher County Central tonight.
LAWRENCE 210 000 0 — 3 3 2
RUSSELL 001 205 x — 8 7 2
Wallen, Salyers (5) and Cantrell; Jones and Brinkman. W—Jones. L—Salyers. 2B—Brinkman (R). HR—Cavins (L).
Boyd County 9, Wayne 4
WAYNE, W.Va. Boyd County rapped out 16 hits and rolled past West Virginia’s defending Class AA state champs.
Houston Reeves went 4-for-5, including two doubles, and scored two runs for the Lady Lions (6-7).
Boyd County pitcher Lora Thompson settled down after allowing three runs in the first inning to retire 12 consecutive batters during one stretch. Thompson also aided her own cause by collecting three hits and driving in a run.
Taylor Wheeler, Bri Crooks and Destiny Goins each supplied two hits. Goins scored three runs, while Crooks knocked in two.
Boyd County travels to Harrison County this weekend, beginning with two games tonight against Grant County and the host team. The Lady Lions will also play Lexington Catholic on Saturday morning.
BOYD CO. 103 130 2 — 10 16 1
WAYNE 301 000 0 — 4 6 0
L. Thompson and Goins; E. Thompson and Maynard. W—L. Thompson. L—E. Thompson. 2B—Maynard (W), E. Thompson (W), Reeves 2 (BC), Goins (BC).