Late rally lifts Lions past Rams

Apr. 27—CANNONSBURG — Sometimes a baseball game is like a marathon rather than a sprint.

Boyd County hit its stride around the final mile on Saturday, rallying in the sixth inning to take a win over Raceland, 5-2.

The Lions, who gave up two runs in the top of the first inning, whipped up three runs in the frame to break a 2-2 tie.

"We didn't panic," Boyd County coach Frank Conley said. "You get down 2-0 to those guys, they can start doing their thing. They're a good team offensively, defensively, and pitching that will keep you down. We took what they gave us, chipped away, and never panicked."

The first run of the sixth frame flurry came off the bat of Michael Potter, who hit his second RBI single of the game to drive in Jacob Vanover.

Potter crossed the plate following a Ryan Brown sacrifice fly, followed shortly by Josh Kelley, who scored off a JK McKnight hit.

The loss is just the second this season for the Rams against 16th Region opponents and the first to occur without extra innings.

"It was a well-played ballgame," Raceland coach Marty Mills said. "We had a couple of errors, eight hits and two runs. That's usually not us. Boyd did a really good job, tip your hats to those guys. Our kids came out to play. We battled all day, and had some good stuff, but bottom line, we'll keep trying to get better from today."

The sixth inning trio of runs marked the only inning where Boyd County managed multiple runs as the Lions had to wait patiently for the bats to heat up.

Raceland wasted no time firing up its bats, getting hits from the first two batters in the lineup, Parker Fannin and Kadin Shore, before driving in the first run off a sacrifice bunt from Eli Lynd.

The Rams drove a second man to the plate with a single from Parker Ison to get the 2-0 lead after the top half of the first inning.

Brown, who commanded the mound for the Lions, made sure that didn't become a habit in the second frame, striking out all three batters for a 1-2-3 inning.

"He did really well," Conley said. "All of our guys, one through five, have struggled with that first inning and it was no different today. We have to get over that because we can't always dig ourselves out of that... but we did today. Brown pitched it well and once he got going, man he was tough."

Brown retired two more in the top of the third to keep the score at 2-0 through two and a half.

Boyd County's first two innings were mostly inconsequential except for a double from Grant Slater in the second but he was ultimately left stranded.

The Lions finally saw some movement in the bottom of the third frame.

After Josh Kelley and JK McKnight reached on a hit-by-pitch and fielder's choice respectively, Alex Martin batted in the first run for the home team on an RBI single.

Michael Porter hit a rocket into right field in the third inning that drove in Brogan Jones to knot it at 2-2.

Raceland changed pitchers to start the fifth inning, bringing in Stephen Pennington for Breyer Parsons.

"Breyer gave us what we needed, he's really come into his own this year," Mills said. "We had to pull him in case we need him Monday or Tuesday. Pennington's ball had a lot of movement on it, a lot of swing and misses."

Despite walking and beaming his first two batters, Pennington struck out the last three batters to hold the score at 2-2.

It wouldn't be the case in the bottom of the sixth.

"We went into that inning just trying to add on and get more guys on base," Conley said. "And put some pressure on them defensively, which I thought we did a pretty good job of doing."

Boyd County's three runs in the sixth put the Rams behind the eight-ball, facing a 5-2 deficit entering their final at-bat.

Landon Bloss got a hit for Raceland in the eight spot, but it was bookended by a pair of strikeouts from Brown, which put his total Ks at 10 for the game.

With two outs and Bloss on first, Fannin hit a grounder to second base for the final out.

"We still got a ways to go," Conley said. "We have to clean up some things, but I'll go to battle battle with these guys. They don't quit, they don't stop and they keep fighting and you'll take that from any team."

Mills also says his team has to work on certain aspects of the game to get his team where they need to be.

"Just like any team this time of year, nobody wants to be playing their best baseball right now," Mills said. "You're just trying to stay the course, trying to get better each day and iron some things out. and it's simple things. We're not too worried about ground balls or fly balls at this point. We're worried about other detail stuff."

RACELAND 200 000 0 — 2 7 2

BOYD CO. 001 103 X — 5 7 1

Parsons, S. Pennington (5) and Lynd; Brown and Jones. W — Brown. L — S. Pennington. 2B — Slater (BC), Martin (BC).

Raceland 15 Portsmouth West 0RACELAND Raceland belted out 16 hits against visiting Portsmouth West for a decisive win on Friday night.

The Rams led 5-0 after the third inning but posted a 10-run fourth to end the contest early.

Connor Thacker pitched all four frames to collect the win. Fannin was 2 for 4 at the plate and drove in three runs. Sam Lynd went 2 for 2 and had two RBIs.

P. WEST 000 0 — 0 3 3

RACELAND 023 (10) — 15 16 2

Cornell, Kessinger (4), Coleman (4) and Picklesimer; Thacker and Bowden W—Thacker. L—Cornell. 2B—Thacker (R), Coldiron (R). 3B—Bailey (R).