LEXINGTON – Fleming County, Lewis County and Mason County were all scheduled to take the field at Whitaker Bank Ballpark for the David Iery Foundation Showcase on Saturday.
Because of the weather, Lewis County was unable to play, but Fleming County and Mason County provided plenty of excitement in limited innings.
The Panthers came away winners over Fairview in a game shortened to five innings, 5-4, with the help of a walkoff single to right field from C.J. Gulley, who came in to pinch hit with the bases loaded.
Fairview entered the fifth and final inning – the games were shortened to try to fit them in between storms – trailing Fleming County, 4-3, but two walks from Andrew Jackson sent the Panthers’ pitcher from the game.
Jonathan Maher took over with one down. Joe Sewell hit the fourth pitch Maher threw on the ground to the right side of the infield and reached on an error that scored Preston Ledford from second, tying the game.
After allowing a single to load the bases, Josh Crump caught a ball over his shoulder at short and Maher got the next batter to strike out with the score tied.
Nick Clark led off the bottom of the fifth with a walk, which was followed by a single from Jackson and a single from Cole Saunders to load the bases with nobody out. Terrick Smith struck out Jarrod Tolle for the first out of the inning, before Gulley’s hit to right ended the game.
Fleming County took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a double from Jackson, who also pitched 4.1 innings. He allowed four hits and two earned runs while walking five and striking out five to earn game MVP honors.
The game was delayed after the first inning and Fairview tied it up when the action resumed. A ground ball from Jaxon Manning and a single from Bradon Wilburn did the damage.
The Panthers got the two-run lead back in the bottom half of the inning on a double from Crump and a single from Maher.
Smith threw the entire game for Fairview, allowing 11 hits and one walk while striking out six.
The Royals took the field against Jenkins for the second game of the day and got off to a hot start.
Carson Brammer and Malkolm Devine reached on back-to-back singles to start the game and Jakari Grause was hit with a pitch to load the bases with nobody out.
David Selby drilled a ball to the gap in right-center, driving in all three of his teammates and landing at third.
Mason County added another run in the inning on a ball hit by Zachary Drury.
The offense didn’t slow in the second, as Tyler Fearis singled to start the frame. After getting the next two batters to pop out, Grause hit an RBI-double down the left field line.
Then it was Selby with another shot – this one off the top of the Pepsi Party Deck in right field for a 7-0 advantage.
Behind the pitching of Braydon Porter, who struck out all three batters in the first, the Royals were able to hold Jenkins scoreless for another inning.
But with the storms coming in, it was the rain that was the winner.
The game was called off after the inning, and shortly following that, the next two games were canceled. The first game of the day, featuring Bath County and East Carter, was called off Friday night. Lewis County was scheduled to put an unbeaten record on the line against Ashland Blazer and Woodford County was scheduled to take on Rockcastle County in the final game of the day.
Scholarships from the David Iery Foundation were still awarded, with Crump, Drury and Lewis County’s Bryce Wallingford all being awarded one.
Mason County will travel right across the Ohio River to face Ripley on Monday. Fleming County improved to 4-3 with the win and will travel to Harrison County on Monday. Lewis County will take an unbeaten record into 63rd district play next week. The Lions are scheduled to host Raceland on Monday, before traveling to take on the Rams on the road the next night.