MCCRACKEN COUNTY 14, CAMPBELL COUNTY 3 (5 INNINGS)
McCracken County quickly ended any chance of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA State Baseball title coming back to the 10th Region.
The Mustangs put runs across in each of the first four innings to come away with a five-inning, 14-3 victory over Campbell County in the first round at Whitaker Bank Ballpark on Friday.
Cameron Langston hit a two-out double to give McCracken County a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, before the Mustangs added a third run on an infield single from Connor Dismore that led to a runner coming home on a throwing error.
McCracken County didn’t waste any time building onto their lead the next inning, either. Rook Ellington doubled to the gap in right-center to make it 5-0. Dismore added a single that scored two runs later in the frame to give the Mustangs a seven-run advantage.
The lead grew to double-digits in the third, starting with a James Dodd sacrifice fly. Ellington scored on a wild pitch, making it 9-0, and Langston drove in another run with a single through the right side of the infield. Dismore grounded out for the first out of the inning, but it scored the Mustangs’ 11th run.
Dylan Schneider hit a home run to lead off the fourth and McCracken County added two more runs in the inning on a single to right field from Elijah Wheat and a sacrifice fly from Dodd.
Jacob Ehling held the Camels off the board until the bottom of the fourth, when Brady Brooks led off the inning with a double and later scored on a single from Shawn Schnitzler. Jesus Riera and Kyler Southerland each added RBI singles to make it 14-3.
Ehling picked up the win on the mound to move to 9-1 on the year. He allowed seven hits and struck out seven, before being replaced by Brandon Dodd to close out the game.
Carson Werrmann took the loss for Campbell County. He lasted just an inning, allowing five runs on two hits and four walks. He was replaced by Luke Oehrle, who pitched an inning, allowing five runs on five hits and three walks. Gavin Peters pitched the next two innings, surrendering four runs on six hits. Austin Hoeh kept McCracken County off the board in the fifth inning.
The Camels end the season at 21-13, while the Mustangs improve to 34-8. McCracken County will take on the winner of the final first round game between Madison Central and Bowling Green in the quarterfinals on Saturday. The game was not over before press time. Saturday’s game is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m.
HIGHLANDS 4, SOUTH OLDHAM 2
Drew Rom showed why he was Kentucky’s first schooler taken off the draft board in the MLB draft.
The Highlands left-hander tossed a complete game four-hitter, getting the Bluebirds into Saturday’s quarterfinal against Paintsville. Rom, selected 116th by the Baltimore Orioles in the 4th round on Tuesday, struck out 10 and walked three while allowing just one earned run in the victory.
He surrendered a leadoff homerun to South Oldham’s JT Benson and settled in from there.
Meanwhile, the Bluebirds’ bats got things going in the fourth on Ethan Kavahagh’s two-run single to give them a 2-1 advantage.
They’d add some much needed insurance in the sixth when Sam Hennigan plated two with a single, giving them a 4-1 edge.
The Dragons (21-13) would make things interesting in the final frame, loading the bases with one out and then Benson drew a two-out walk to make it 4-2, but Rom got Samuel LaBarbera to fly out to center to end the threat and the game.
Highlands (27-13) will now face Paintsville on Saturday at 6 p.m.
PAINTSVILLE 3, CHRISTIAN COUNTY 1
Despite being a freshman, Paintsville’s Mason Moore stepped up on the biggest stage.
Moore tossed a complete game two-hitter to get the Tigers into the quarterfinals against Highlands on Saturday. After surrendering a homerun to Wyatt Stevenson in the first and allowing the next two batters to reach, Moore retired 19 of the final 21 Colonels to step to the plate, including the final 15 for Paintsville’s first victory at the state tournament since 1990.
Paintsville (26-12) quickly claimed the lead back in the bottom half of the first on Seth Williams two-run blast over the right field wall. Williams would later score in the sixth as he was hit by a pitch, stole second and third base and advanced home on an errant throw on the attempted steal of third.
Stevenson also pitched a dandy for Christian County (20-13), allowing just two hits in a complete game effort, walking two and striking out eight. A total of 10 base runners reached base in the entire contest.
Paintsville will now face Highlands, Saturday at 6 p.m.
MADISON CENTRAL VS BOWLING GREEN, LATE
The game’s result was not available at press time. The winner will take on McCracken County on Saturday at 8:30 p.m in the quarterfinals.