Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 30, 2014

Lions' McCoy inks with Kentucky Wesleyan

Zack Klemme
The Independent

CANNONSBURG — Boyd County has consistently sent out Billy McCoy when it’s needed its ace on the mound over the past couple of years.

The Lions’ senior right-hander has been successful enough in that role to earn an opportunity to play at Kentucky Wesleyan University, with whom he signed a letter of intent on Tuesday.

Boyd County has won 11 of its last 15 games after a 3-7 start to build momentum entering the last couple of weeks of the regular season. McCoy attributed that to the progress the Lions have made in all facets of their game.

“It started off rough, but once we got back from the beach and we were able to see a lot of pitching consistently, get our timing down, it’s really helped,” he said. “We’ve been playing a lot better defense, hitting the ball a lot better, pitching a lot better, and we found our groove, all the pitchers, hitting our spots better, having better secondary pitches, stuff like that.”

McCoy’s own performance on the hill has led the way. He sports a 0.68 earned run average and has held opponents to a .157 batting average. He’s racked up 38 strikeouts in 41 innings, and not against the dredges of the region, either.

“He’s had every tough matchup, every big game,” Boyd County coach Brandon Ramsey said. “Every tough team that we’ve come across, really, in the last two years has been his, and he knows that, he accepts it, he goes out (and) competes every opportunity we give him.”

The Panthers, located in Owensboro, stand 29-11 and have won 13 straight games. McCoy likes that, as well as how coach Todd Lillpop sold Kentucky Wesleyan.

“I just really liked the coach, what he had to say about the program, where they were heading,” McCoy said. “I liked the whole feel about the college, not a huge college, a small, at-home place.”

McCoy will join another of the 16th Region’s top pitchers, Lewis County’s Sammy Holder, at Kentucky Wesleyan.

“We’ve texted back and forth a little about it,” McCoy said. “We plan on maybe rooming with each other. It’ll be nice to have somebody down there I actually know to play with, being four hours away.”

Ramsey expects McCoy to be just fine at the collegiate level staying within himself.

“One thing about Billy is, he understands who he is on the field,” Ramsey said. “He throws strikes, he commands three pitches, locates well, and I think if he’ll continue to do that, he’ll be fine.”

McCoy also played football for the Lions as their starting quarterback.

McCoy said he plans to major in education.

ZACK KLEMME can be reached at zklemme@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2658.