RACELAND Here’s Jonny!
Boyd County hurler Jonny Stevens pitched the first no-hitter of his varsity career at Raceland-Worthington High School on Tuesday night. The Lions produced a pair of runs in the fifth inning and Stevens allowed just a pair of base runners in a 2-0 win over Raceland.
“I can never think about it because I will try too hard to get one,” Stevens said of his performance. “In the third and fourth innings, I was still hitting my spots. I started to turn it up with each pitch. My team got on base and scored runs. That’s when I knew we weren’t going back from there.”
Boyd County coach Frank Conley gave the right-hander high marks after the contest.
“That was the best high school baseball game that I saw someone pitch,” Conley said. “He was on. And when (Jonny) pitches like that, he is tough to beat.”
The senior tallied 93 pitches and collected 17 strikeouts. Stevens’ one base on balls came with two outs in the home half of the seventh inning.
“We still did a lot of things well,” Raceland coach Marty Mills said. “We have some things we need to work on, which is good. When you see someone’s bullet for seven innings this early in the year, it’s a good thing. (Stevens) threw really well and that’s something we need to see. It was a good ball game, and it was a learning game for us.”
It was the Rams’ seventh game of the season. Raceland already has a 16th Region All “A” Classic championship under its belt and had outscored its first six opponents, 84-7.
The Rams did not get the ball out of the infield on Tuesday behind the efforts of Stevens and his breaking ball.
“They weren’t expecting it,” Stevens said. “I don’t think one kid connected on my breaking ball. I think it fooled them every single time. I came right back with the fastball and they couldn’t hit it.”
“I just wanted to throw strikes, get ground balls and get outs,” he continued. “I figured that they would score a run or two. I just did my thing and my fielders backed me up.”
Raceland’s Jake Heighton was dealing on the other side, too. Mills said the team had him on a pitch count against the Lions.
He recorded five punchouts in the first four innings and pitched out of a second-inning jam by striking out the side with two runners on base.
Andrew Floyd came on in relief and allowed just one hit in two-plus innings. It was only his second varsity appearance.
“Jake was Jake, and he is always around the plate,” Mills said. “He throws his three pitches, and I don’t think they did much against him either. This time of the year, your pitching is ahead of your offense. That was pretty indicative of the game. Jake did well. They scratched a run there (in the fifth) and those things are real fixable.”
Boyd County (2-0) had baserunners in scoring position in the second and fourth innings. The Lions finally put a crooked number on the scoreboard in the fifth frame.
Jacob Kelley made it to first base with a two-out infield single. Jacob Vanover advanced the runner to second after he was hit by a pitch.
The Rams catcher tried to pick off Vanover at first a few pitches later, but the throw found its way to right field and the error scored Kelley.
Jacob Baker drove in Vanover with an opposite-field double and the extra base hit staked Stevens a two-run lead.
“We wanted to work ahead in the count,” Conley said. “We got one run, and to be honest with you, I was trying to get guys on base just to get Jonny back on the mound. I was confident they would have trouble scoring against him.”
“After one run, I felt good,” he added. “After two runs, I felt they weren’t going to get there.”
Raceland dropped its first game of the season and its record now stands at 6-1.
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BOYD CO. 000 020 0 — 2 5 0
RACELAND 000 000 0 — 0 0 2
Stevens and Joe Lusby. Heighton, Floyd (5) and Thornsberry. W—Stevens. L—Heighton. 2B—Baker (BC).