Tim Johnson didn’t expect his West Carter baseball team to be 10-2 this morning.
He thinks the Comets should be 12-0.
That’s not happening, but Thursday wasn’t bad, either — a 3-2 win at Lewis County.
Johnson is combining two things he loves: guiding the Comets and watching his son, eighth-grader J.T. Johnson.
“I’m not real sure there’s a fun thing about coaching your son because, like (Thursday), he didn’t have a stellar performance (0-for-1 with a walk), and it’s tough separating dad and coach,” Tim said. “ … The family time is most fun.”
What does J.T, who scored a run Thursday, think? He’s fine with dad coaching because he doesn’t mind being an example of what to do — and not to do.
“I like it ‘cause it makes me feel like he cares about (the) team, not just me,” J.T. says.
Johnson remembers the losses — an 11-4 defeat on March 31 at Rowan County in which West Carter had shut out the Vikings for four innings, and stranding 14 runners in a 5-3 setback against Morgan County in the 16th Region All “A” finals on April 10.
Tim Johnson enjoyed four things Thursday: catcher Kaden Rose’s RBI double in the first inning that opened the scoring; the pitching tandem of Spencer Phillips and Richard McGlone (Phillips struck out three over five innings for the win, and McGlone earned the save); shortstop Peyton Brown’s two hits and a run scored (he led West with a .475 batting average before yesterday); and especially left fielder Dalton Brown’s grab in the fifth inning that ended a Lewis County threat.
“A Willie Mays-style over-his-shoulder,” Tim Johnson said. “Unbelievable catch. It was a team effort; everybody contributed.”
The Lions, meanwhile, lost their fourth straight game and the second to the Comets. Coach Jack Lykins said leaving eight runners on base and giving up two runs on errors didn’t help.
“You can’t give good clubs runs,” Lykins said. “We told ‘em to relax. We wanted to come out here and play well; we just didn’t.”
Lewis County also was missing one player Thursday, and he was maybe the Lions’ most important one — senior Sammy Holder served the first of a two-game suspension for being ejected from last Saturday’s 13-7 loss to Louisville Trinity. He’ll also miss Saturday’s home game against Ashland.
“It’s going to hurt,” Lykins said before the game. “You take out our No. 1 pitcher and you take out our top hitter and you take out our starting shortstop and our leadoff hitter, that hurts a lot.”
West Carter opened with a run on shortstop Peyton Brown’s single, stolen base, moving ahead on a passed ball and Rose’s double to center. The Comets might have done more if Rose hadn’t been caught off second for an inning-ending double play on first baseman Ben Jordan’s fly to center and throw to second baseman Jordan Doyle.
“That was a fastball, (Davis) gave me a pretty good pitch to handle,” Rose said of the double. “I was a little early on it, but I managed to get some pretty good wood on it.”
Lewis County (8-5) evened the score in the bottom of the first. Catcher Jordan McCann’s two-out single became a run when he reached second on a wild pitch and scored on Doyle’s single to center.
Davis’ breaking ball worked well early. An example: on a called third strikeout of West’s Chase Hanshaw, Davis threw an inside- and outside-corner curveball for the whiff.
West Carter made it 2-1 in the fourth. J.T. Johnson reached first on Isaac Weddington’s error, stole second, went to third on Jordan’s deep fly to right and scored on Weddington’s second miscue of the frame.
It was a lead that lasted a half-inning.
Lewis County shortstop Austin Evans started with a single. He went to second on Davis’ bunt single, took third on a passed ball and scored on McCann’s fielder’s choice.
Notes: West Carter outfielder Chris Johnson missed Thursday’s game with what Tim Johnson (no relation) said was a right knee injury. Coach Johnson said he won’t know the extent of the injury until Chris Johnson has an MRI procedure … Saturday’s game against Ashland-Lewis County contest at 1 p.m. is also the third annual Autism Awareness game. Other activities include: an Autism Awareness Walk at 10 a.m. at Lewis County Central Elementary on Ky. 8; a wiffle ball game at 11 a.m. at the high school, the junior varsity game and a middle school game between Lewis County and Verity. Anyone with autism may participate.
W. CARTER 100 101 0 — 3 4 2
LEWIS CO. 100 000 0 — 2 6 3
Phillips, McGlone (6) and Rose. Davis, Duncan (6) and Wallingford. W—Phillips. L—Duncan. Sv—McGlone. 2B—Rose (WC).