Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

April 17, 2014

Barnwell's K barrage lifts Boyd County

Reliever fans 11 Tomcats; Lions win in 9

ASHLAND — In the 1990 film Jacob’s Ladder, the main character is haunted by memories of terrifying instances that occurred in his life before and during the Vietnam War.

Some of Ashland’s hitters may suffer from flashbacks of Wednesday night’s version of Jacob Barnwell, a monster on the mound who gave no ground to the Tomcats.

The junior mixed a slew of smoking fastballs and knee-buckling breaking balls as he concocted a four-inning, 11-strikeout relief effort in Boyd County’s 6-2 victory over Ashland in nine innings at Alumni Field.

Barnwell experienced his own personal blast from the past as the game entered extra frames. As a sophomore, the right-hander gave up the game-winning run in last season’s 12-inning marathon at Ashland.

“I try to block that stuff out, but I was actually thinking about it the entire time,” Barnwell admitted. “I was like, I’m not letting it happen again.”

Barnwell limited Ashland to just one hit, an Evan Cox single, over the final four innings to pick up the win. Cox also laced a liner right back at Barnwell, one that he quickly reacted to and gloved.

Ashland relief pitcher Pete Mullins did his job, too, though, as the game stayed deadlocked at 2-2 from the sixth until the ninth.

Two Lions reached on Mullins to begin the ninth. Braden Wyatt got to second on a throwing error by the third baseman before moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Smith. Mullins tried to nail Tanner Bryan, who was running for Wyatt, but the throw to third was too late.

“That bunt where we went to third, I thought that hurt us,” said Ashland coach Jeff Wilcox.

Robert Griffith relieved Mullins with two on and no one out in the ninth. He struck out Ethan Hicks, but walked Barnwell to bring up Dylan Grimm with the bases loaded. Grimm drew a walk on a full count to bring in the go-ahead run. It was his third RBI of the night.

“That was a tough at-bat for Dylan,” said Boyd County acting head coach Gavin Ramsey. “He took a real close one (inside).”

Ramsey, normally the junior varsity head coach, stepped in for brother Brandon, who was ejected during the Lions’ win over Scott on Saturday in Covington. He, along with two assistants, are suspended for two more games.

After a wild pitch made it 4-2, Brock Damron clobbered a 3-2 pitch, sending it down the third-base line for a two-run double to extend the lead to 6-2.

“He’s been hitting the ball so well all year,” Barnwell said of Damron. “He just seems to come through whenever we need him all the time.”

Barnwell essentially recorded four outs in the ninth. One of his three strikeouts in the frame resulted in a passed ball, which allowed Jared Slone to reach first.

“Unbelievable,” said Ramsey of Barnwell, who has verbally committed to Ohio State University as a catcher. “He was just dealing tonight. That’s probably the best I’ve ever seen him throw.”

Grimm started the game on the mound for the Lions. He gave up two runs in five innings. Slone worked the first four for Ashland.

Ashland senior Aaron Elam accounted for both RBI hits for the Tomcats. The left-handed batter sent a run-scoring double down the left-field line in the third inning to knot the score at 1-1. He pounded an RBI single into center field in the fifth to lock things up at 2-2.

Cox and Elam combined for four of Ashland’s seven hits.

“They’re seeing the ball really well,” Wilcox said. “They’re getting out in front of it, and they’re not just poking it, they’re hitting it. We’ve just got to get some other guys doing that, and we will.”

Smith, the Lions’ leadoff hitter, scored three runs and pilfered a pair of bases.

Barnwell drew three of Boyd County’s seven walks. The Lions also had two batters plunked by pitches.

After the game, Gavin Ramsey joked that if Boyd County (10-9) beats Fleming County on Thursday and Montgomery County on Friday, the 17-year assistant would ride off into the sunset.

“I told the kids, ‘if we go 3-0, I’m retiring,’” Ramsey said. “That’d be a perfect record in the KHSAA, and I’d walk away.”

Ashland (7-5) and Boyd County clash in another 64th District battle on Tuesday in Cannonsburg.

Before Wednesday, the last seven matchups were each decided by two or fewer runs.

Wilcox expects another classic on Tuesday, referring to Wednesday’s game as reason.

“It was just another great game with two rivals that go after each other,” Wilcox said. “We’ll meet up again next Tuesday, and it’ll probably be the same thing.”

BOYD CO.    100    010    004    —    6    5    1

ASHLAND    001    010    000    —    2    7    3

Grimm, Barnwell (6) and Barnwell, Wyatt (6); Slone, Mullins (5), Griffith (9) and Fritz. W—Barnwell. L—Mullins. 2B—Elam (A), Damron (B).

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014

  • 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