Through the first four innings of its 63rd District Tournament opener, Greenup County found itself hitless. The Musketeers made up for it over the next two innings.
Greenup County scored eight runs on eight hits in the final two innings to defeat Raceland, 9-1, at Russell High School on Monday.
Musketeers coach Greg Logan said while he was happy for the win, he would have felt a little more comfortable if the offense was spread out.
“We would have liked to spread it out or flip the scoreboard,” Logan said. “It’s district baseball. You know what you’re going to get out of Raceland, they’re fighters. We stayed the course and started pressing a little bit.”
With Greenup County struggling at the plate, Raceland took advantage in the fourth inning with a Brent Darby single and a run-scoring double by Tyler Morris.
But that’s all the Rams could get against Greenup County starter Seth Boyle, who allowed only the two hits and just one run. When it comes to advancing in postseason play, Raceland coach Randy Vanderhoof said it’s going to take more than one run.
“Seth Boyle is one of the premier pitchers in the 16th Region,” Vanderhoof said. “You have to score more than one run against these tough teams in postseason play. That’s something we’re going to have to work on.”
Boyle finished with 14 strikeouts to pick up the complete-game win. He struggled with command early on as he threw 43 pitches through the first two innings.
The senior admits he was more than a little hyped up heading into the game.
“I just get too worked up and get the adrenaline going,” Boyle said. “I have to step off the mound and cool down and do my job. First, I was walking batters and not following through. I finally settled in and found the groove.”
The Musketeers’ fifth inning saw Gage Hughes smack a run-scoring single to right field. Hughes wasn’t done, adding a two-run base hit in the sixth inning.
The seventh-grader, who’s usually the Greenup County leadoff man, was dropped down to the No. 9 spot. Logan said he was pretty happy with the end result.
“Thank God the KHSAA allows middle school kids to play high school baseball,” Logan said. “We moved Gage out of leadoff spot into the No. 9 spot so he could see some more fastballs. I think the move worked.”
Will McCall finished the game with two RBIs, while pinch-hitter Karson Glancy hit a two-run single during Greenup County’s six-run sixth inning.
Raceland (16-16) was led by pitcher Darby, who gave up no hits through four innings and struck out five.
Greenup County (20-12) finds itself back in the 16th Region Tournament after failing to make it last year.
RACELAND 000 100 0 — 1 2 1
GREENUP CO. 000 126 X — 9 8 0
Darby, Sammons (6) and Tolliver. Boyle and Hutchinson. W — Boyle. L — Darby. 2B — Hughes (G), Morris (R).
Lewis Co. 7
Lewis County’s good season has become record-breaking after it defeated Russell in the first round of the 63rd District Tournament.
The win gives the Lions the school record for most victories in a season with 27. It beats the 1986 team’s record, coached by Gary Kidwell.
“The goal is to go after that every year,” Lewis County coach Keith Prater said. “I’m happy for these kids to have that honor and have that opportunity.”
The win also puts the Lions in their second straight district championship game and second straight region tournament.
Lewis County was able to score runs behind the pitching of Sammy Holder, who threw a complete game and allowed two hits and struck out 10.
“I said it before but I think Sammy is one of the best players in the region,” Prater said. “”Don’t get me wrong — Boyle and the (Ashland’s Logan) Salow are, too — but he comes out and gives us all he’s got every night and he’s the most valuable for our team for sure.”
Russell’s only two hits came from senior Troy Huffine and Bryant Cathey. The only Red Devils’ run came after a rundown between first and second allowed a runner to cross the plate.
After guiding Russell’s (18-15) seniors to three straight region tournaments, Red Devils coach Mike Martino was obviously upset with the outcome.
“I hurt for my seniors because it’s been an honor to coach these young men,” said an emotional Martino. “This time of year good pitching is going to beat good hitting. We have good hitting, but this time of year pitchers are going to dominate.”
While Russell struggled to put runs up, Lewis County kept finding ways to score. Nick Thompson went 4-for-4 in the game with two RBIs and scoring twice.
Jordan McCann added two RBIs, one on a safety squeeze and another on a run-scoring single to left field.
“Our goal was to jump on them early and we were able to do that early with some small ball,” Prater said. “We hit the ball solid all night. If you make contact good things will happen.”
Lewis County (27-9) and Greenup County will meet tonight for the championship at Russell High School. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
LEWIS CO. 022 001 2 — 7 9 1
RUSSELL 000 100 0 — 1 2 2
Holder and McCann. Mullen, Jones (3), Fraley (6) and Cathey. W — Holder. L — Mullen. 2B — Davis (L), Huffine (R).