Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

May 20, 2013

THE WEEKLY CYCLE: Holding the key to upset city?

ASHLAND — It takes only one game. Few are more firm believers in that fact than the small schools that find themselves in underdog roles year after year.

As each baseball/softball season passes, thirty-plus games are played and hundreds of practices are conducted in hopes that one day in May will become magical.

Those May days start today.

District tournament first pitches will be fired from all different directions across the state tonight, including a few close to home.

After door-knocking to shocking in two of the last three years, is this the season that Raceland finally busts open the pinata and grants itself a surprise party invitation? Or will Greenup County keep them blindfolded?

The Rams are one of several underdogs to keep an eye on this week, as just one first-round win in the district tournament is all it takes to punch a 16th Region Tournament ticket and punch out a favorite who already had its bags packed.

That favorite is Greenup County (probably without the bags packed part). Coach Greg Logan’s bunch won’t come in overconfident, because they tasted first-round defeat last season.

The Musketeers went undefeated inside the 63rd District this season, and the last time they met Raceland in the first round ended in a 10-0 Greenup County win (2011).

However, the Rams are still one of the dangerous underdogs set to take the field this week.

One reason, as the Shortstop alluded to earlier, is how close they came in 2010 and ’12. The Rams nearly knocked off Russell in an eight-inning affair from which the Red Devils emerged, 10-9, three seasons back. And just last year, Raceland put a scare into the Devils again, only to fall 4-3.

Raceland has some nice wins on its resume, including victories over Ashland and Russell.

Senior pitcher Zayne Sammons, who got the win against the Tomcats, will be on the mound for the Rams sporting an earned run average in the low 2’s and a ratio of one strikeout per inning pitched.

Of course, Greenup County may counter with ace Seth Boyle, who has tallied five complete games this season.

This is just one of several 63rd District baseball and softball showdowns that figure to be must-sees.

Whatever happens, only eight baseball and eight softball teams will remain in the 16th Region by Friday.

The 57th District, which includes Paintsville, Johnson Central and Lawrence County, is hosting its tournament at Johnson Central High School this week. Tuesday night’s Paintsville-Lawrence County baseball matchup should be a dandy.

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