Most would say if a team scores in only one inning, then it will probably end up on the loser’s side of the scoreboard.
Lewis County would object to that statement.
The Lions scored 11 runs in the third inning, which was enough to defeat West Carter 11-3 in the first session of the opening round of the 16th Region baseball tournament at Bath County Sports Complex on Monday.
Lewis County will play Boyd County in the semifinals today at 5 p.m. after Boyd County defeated Rowan County, 10-3, in the opening game of the tournament.
For Lewis County coach Keith Prater, the most surprising element of his team’s 11-run third inning is that they went scoreless in the rest of them.
“We got kids stepping up which is what you need to have,” Prater said. “If you put an 11-spot up on the board you don’t have to worry about putting too much more up.”
All 11 runs came after West Carter picked up two outs against the Lions.
Lewis County’s Levi Clark went 2-for-4 overall, tallying three RBIs in the Lions’ big inning, including a two-run single.
Clark and the rest of Lewis County’s players are participating in their first region tournament games. In fact, Lewis County hasn’t been in the region tournament since 2007.
Many could not blame them if they felt a little nervous.
“We settled down, but we had some jitters early,” Clark said. “We settled down, made good pitches, made the plays and put up some runs.”
Prater thought his team handled its first region tournament game perfectly.
“It’s a good place to be and hopefully we’ll start a new tradition of Lewis County being here every year,” Prater said. “We started a little shaky — we had a little jitters in us — but we came out and did what we do. I thought we handled the pressure of being out there the first time.”
Having to handle not only the pressure but also the heat was Lions catcher Kasey Riley, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
Prater, a former catcher, feels for the Lions’ human backstop, but knows he can handle it.
“I was a catcher as well and we talk about it often,” Prater laughed. “Kasey did a great job for us today and he hit some shots. Just a great kid and if you were ever around him, you’d love him.”
It was Clark and then Riley who started the two-out third inning rally with back-to-back RBI singles.
West Carter (10-21) jumped on Lewis County starter Corey Davis, scoring runs in the first and second inning.
It could have been uglier as the Comets left the bases loaded in the second inning.
West Carter coach Brad Bloomfield, though, said the third inning is basically the story of the Comets’ entire season.
“All season long it’s been one inning,” Bloomfield said. “We’ve always had five, six, seven-run innings that cost us ballgames. And today we gave up 11 with two outs. You just can’t overcome that.”
Ben Jordan went 3-for-4 for the Comets while Tanner Tackett had the only two RBIs for West Carter, one coming on a bases-loaded walk and the other on a run-scoring single.
With the loss, West Carter ended its season the same way last season ended, in the region first round.
“We just let one mistake snowball, then we make three or four,” Bloomfield said. “It’s just a little demoralizing I guess.”
Lewis County now has a date with defending region champions Boyd County. Prater knows his team will have to score in more than one inning if it wants a chance for a regional championship.
“We’ll have to come out ready to play seven innings instead of waiting until the third to get started,” Prater said. “The best thing is we get to strap them on and play again (today).”
Before Monday, the Lions’ last region tournament win came in 2007, a 20-19 victory over Morgan County.
WEST CARTER 110 100 0 — 3 9 3
LEWIS CO. 00(11) 000 X — 11 13 3
Tackett, Jordan (3), Napier (3), Phillips (6) and McGlone; C. Davis, J. Davis (3), Wampler (5), Duncan (7) and Riley. WP — J. Davis. LP — Tackett.
Boyd County 10
Rowan County 3
While it wasn’t the magnitude of Lewis County’s 11-run third inning, Boyd County was able to pull away from Rowan County with a seven-run third in Monday’s opening game.
The Lions capitalized off of six Rowan County errors, including three in the third, to defeat the Vikings.
After leaving the bases loaded in the first two innings, and with the score tied 2-2 at that point, Boyd County coach Brandon Ramsey was happy to see his team answer with a big third.
“It’s good for our guys to respond,” Ramsey said. “We got a lead, they came back and tied us. Then we had a several good at-bats, and they made a few errors and we were able to get seven runs across. That kind of made it comfortable.”
The Lions picked up four hits in the third, but Rowan County coach Jason Davis said it was the errors that hurt them.
“It was that one inning that really killed us,” Davis said. “We out-hit them, we just didn’t out-field them. I think out of 10 runs only three were probably earned.”
Boyd County (19-20) played without senior Trey Salisbury, who is suspended for two games. Luckily for the Lions, Robbie Shivel was good enough on the mound to keep the senior’s last season alive.
Shivel threw a complete game, only giving up three runs while scattering seven hits and striking out five. He sat the Vikings down in order in the final three innings.
“It was real big, especially with our pitching being limited in the first couple of games,” Ramsey said. “That gives us a couple guys left for (today). So we’ll roll them out and see what happens.”
On the offensive side of the ball, it was impromptu leadoff man Dylan Grimm who came up with the key hits for the Lions.
Grimm went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a double.
“He hadn’t hit leadoff a whole lot even though he has in JV level,” Ramsey said. “He had been hitting sixth in the order. But he got some pitches to hit and stayed back on them and did a good job for us.”
Boyd County also had a good game from catcher Jacob Barnwell, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Matt Blakeley went 2-for-4 with a double and he reached on an error.
Rowan County (12-24) had success at the plate as well, getting seven hits in the game. Shane Wages went 3-for-4 for the Vikings while Tyler Thacker had the only RBI of the game.
The Vikings haven’t won a region tournament game since 2005. But Davis said the future is bright for his team and now he feels it’s his job for him to put some trophies in the case.
“We got some guys coming back who can win games,” Davis said. “I got hired here to do a job, and either I’m going to get that job done or they’re going to find the next person. I’m determined.”
ROWAN COUNTY 011 100 0 — 3 7 6
BOYD COUNTY 027 100 X — 10 8 2
Thacker, Richmond (3), Lewis (3) and Cornette; Shivel and Barnwell. WP — Shivel. LP — Thacker. 2B — Grimm (B), Crum (B), Blakeley (B).