Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

April 22, 2014

Red Devils get jump on Lewis

Russell takes first of two in 63rd District series

FLATWOODS — As far as Lewis County baseball coach Jack Lykins is concerned, all four teams in the 63rd District are even.

“It’s wide open,” Lykins added after Russell edged his Lions 3-2 on Monday night.

Red Devils starter Alex Jones worked out of several jams and side-arming freshman Alan Jaworski came on to pick up the save.

“This one feels great,” said Russell junior Heath Hensley, who scored twice and also made two fine scoops at first base for the final two outs. “It’s a big momentum builder for tomorrow.”

The two teams are scheduled to meet again at 6 in Vanceburg.

Russell improved to 2-0 in district play and evened its overall record at 9-9.

“It was a big win, but it’s a regular-season game,” Red Devils coach Mike Martino said. “It was a seed game with a great atmosphere, but tomorrow is another day.”

Jones, a senior left-hander, stranded seven Lewis County baserunners in the first three innings and kept the Lions off the scoreboard until the fifth. He got a strikeout to end the first, second and third innings.

“Alex has been hot and cold all year,” Martino said. “He got into trouble, especially with some walks, but we turned a double play, our left fielder (Garion Robinson) made a couple of running catches, and Alex picked off a runner. We put him out there against teams that are going to challenge (for the postseason) to get him ready. He’s been our workhorse.”

After Jones foiled Lewis County again in the third, Russell broke through for two runs in the bottom of the inning against Isaac Weddington.

The Red Devils loaded the bases with one out on an error, Hensley’s walk and a Bobby May single. Jacob McKee lined an opposite-field single to score Nick Conley, and Robinson followed with a sacrifice fly.

Hensley, who went 2-for-2 at the plate, manufactured a run in the fifth to make it 3-0. He singled and stole second, remaining there when May reached on an error. Hensley then swiped third and continued home as the catcher’s throw sailed into left field.

“On the steal of third, Heath and I had eye contact,” said Martino, who coaches in the third-base box. “I gave him thumbs up. Heath picked the right pitch to go. He’s smart. He was our Most Valuable Player last year.”

Hensley batted over .400 as a sophomore and is on a similar pace this season.

Lewis County, 2-1 against district opponents and 9-6 on the season, mounted a comeback in the sixth inning.

Austin Rucker and Devon Duncan started it with singles. After Jones caught a popped bunt, pinch-hitter Gage Kiebler walked to fill the bases. Sammy Holder lined a run-scoring single to end Jones’s outing.

On Jaworski’s first pitch, Jordan Davis blooped a single just inside the right-field line to get the Lions within 3-2. But Jaworski struck out the next batter, then induced a grounder to the right side. Davis jumped to avoid the ball and made slight contact with second baseman Keelan Rice, who was in position to field the ball. Davis was ruled out for interference, despite Lykins’s objections.

“He blew the call, but we shouldn’t have been in that situation,” Lykins said. “You can’t leave 11 runners on and beat a quality baseball team. The first inning did us in. We load the bases and don’t get anything.”

Jaworski retired the side in order in the seventh, beginning with a strikeout. Hensley saved a couple of Russell throwing errors with his glovework at first to close it out.

“His teammates call him Mega-Mitt,” Martino said. “Heath doesn’t miss a thing, and he’s a great kid, too.”

Although Lewis County outhit the Red Devils 8-4, the Lions’ three errors proved costly.

“We are a much better club than that,” Lykins said. “We have to come out (today) and play better.”  

LEWIS CO.    000    002    0    —    2    8    3

RUSSELL    002    010    x    —    3    4    0

Weddington, Davis (6) and Wallingford; Jones, Jaworski (6) and Brinkman. W—Jones. L—Weddington.

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.

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