Lawrence County takes Game 1 over John Carroll Catholic

Apr. 20—The Lawrence County Red Devils are one win away from reaching the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs for the first time since 2016 after they took Game 1 over John Carroll Catholic 9-5 on Friday.

Lawrence County led 5-1 in the fifth inning, but the Cavaliers came back to tie it up and push the game into extra innings. The Red Devils took advantage of seven Cavalier walks and the same number of errors to collect the first of two wins needed to advance.

Game 2 was delayed by weather.

"I don't know if you can really practice for other teams making errors, but we do talk a lot about winning the freebie war," Lawrence County head coach Carson Jones said. "If we can make less errors and make less walks in a game, then we have a better chance of winning, and tonight shows that."

The Red Devils and the Cavaliers went into the fifth inning tied 1-1, but a sacrifice fly gave the Red Devils a 2-1 lead. Lawrence County's Parker Frost then hit a three-run home run to extend the lead to 5-1.

John Carroll Catholic scored one in the bottom of the fifth but waited until the next inning to respond with back-to-back home runs that evened the score at 5-5.

"They tied it up because they hit the ball," Jones said. "I'm absolutely OK with teams hitting the ball and scoring runs, but we didn't walk a bunch of guys tonight, and they did."

Both teams went scoreless in the seventh to push it to extra innings. But John Carroll Catholic walked four straight and Lawrence County scored on two wild pitches and on another sacrifice fly to end the top of the eighth up 9-5.

"I think we're ready to go. I don't think there's any team that can beat us right now." Jones said.

Lawrence County's Kaiden Wear stepped up to the mound to close out the final inning. He struck out two and popped up the other to finish the game.

"We went in with a plan and stuck to it," Jones said. "We would've liked to not use Wear right there. But he came up in a big moment and closed the door for us."

Frost led the Red Devil offense with a home run and four RBIs. Sutton Phillips scored a pair of runs. Eli Long scored a run off a sacrifice fly to wrap it up for the Red Devils.

Caden Norwood pitched five innings for the Red Devils, walking one and allowing four runs.