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Boyle County baseball run-rules Somerset for first win of season

By JOE MATHIS

Contributing Writer

It had been eight innings to start the season since Boyle County baseball had scored a run.

Facing a four-run deficit early versus Somerset, a team considered to be a 12th region favorite, Boyle County head coach Kyle Wynn knew his Rebels couldn’t squander a bases loaded opportunity.

That’s when senior Tevin Leigh delivered. With two outs in the bottom of the second inning, Leigh laced a two-run single into center field, scoring Alex Sergent and courtesy runner Matt Bodner to put Boyle on the board for the first time in the 2018 season.

It’s a hit that Wynn said helped swing the momentum toward Boyle County early, cutting the Somerset lead in half to 4-2.

“Tevin’s hit there got us going,” Wynn said. “It gave us a little life and when you’re getting shut out the momentum was definitely on their side.”

Boyle County surrendered two more runs in the top of the third, aided by an error, wild pitch and two-out RBI singles by Caleb Wonn and Stephen Burrell.

But, as Wynn said, the Rebel bats were beginning to wake up — and awake they did in the bottom of the third.

Grant Hotchkiss led off the bottom of the third inning with a single and after a Ty Dragan groundout, Boyle County proceeded to reach base with their next 10 hitters: Sergent was hit by pitch, a Tristen Helton walk, a Sam Tiller walk, a Kevin Hatfield single, a Karson Thompson double, a Tevin Leigh walk, a Hunter Mason single, a Hotchkiss single and a Dragan single.

By the time the third inning was over, Boyle County had sent 13 men to the plate, eight of them scored, and the Rebels had turned a 6-2 deficit into a 10-6 lead.

“I think finally we took some pitches,” Wynn said. “We get a walk here, put a ball in play there, then the hits start coming. We’ll take anyway we can get on base. We got hit by pitches, we put the ball in play. You can score a lot of runs being disciplined at the plate.”

The Rebels discipline at the plate continued into the bottom of the fourth inning. After Somerset managed to squeak across a run on an RBI groundout by Seth Bennett to cut the Boyle County lead to 10-7, the Rebels offense again exploded, sending 10 more to the plate in a six-run bottom of the fourth.

In a two-inning span, the Rebels sent 23 men to the plate and scored 11 runs.

A 16-7 lead was more than enough cushion for Tiller — who got the win for Boyle County going three innings, striking out four and giving up seven runs, though only four of them were earned.

He gave way in the fourth inning to Helton, who struck out eight hitters in his three innings, including four strikeouts in the sixth inning, when Chance Stayton struck out swinging but reached first base on a dropped third strike.

Helton would later go on to strike out Seth Bennett, Kross Grundy and Gavin Stevens to end the sixth before Sergent walked Boyle County off in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single that scored Gabe Graham, who was courtesy running for Hunter Mason, giving Boyle County a 17-7 win.

Wynn was impressed by Boyle’s offensive performance against a Somerset team that boasts two future Division 1 players:  Senior Trae Harmon has committed to Kentucky and Freshman Kade Grundy has verbally committed to Louisville.

“Somerset is one of the tops in the region that you’re going to have to go through if you want to win it,” Wynn said. “We haven’t fared well against them the past couple of years so it was good for us to be able to put it on them tonight.”

Mason and Sergent each drove in three for Boyle County, while Thompson and Leigh drove in two and Hotchkiss, Dragan, Tiller, and Hatfield each had one RBI. Boyle County is back in action Wednesday night against another 12th region perennial powerhouse West Jessamine.