• 27°

Huge fifth inning helps Boyle to 11-3 win at Garrard

By JOE MATHIS

Contributing Writer

LANCASTER — It didn’t take long for the Boyle County offense to flex its muscles.

On the first pitch of the game, Boyle’s Hunter Mason hit a solo home run to left center field to give the Rebels an early 1-0 lead — a lead they wouldn’t relinquish in an 11-3 district opening win over Garrard County.

Boyle stretched that 1-0 lead to 4-0 thanks to timely hitting and shaky Garrard County defense in the top of the third.

With two outs and a runner on first, Boyle County’s Grant Hotchkiss hit a ground ball on the infield that the Golden Lions had trouble fielding. Tevin Leigh — who was already on base after leading off the inning with a single — advanced to second base and after Ty Dragan was hit by a pitch, the stage was set for the Rebels to have a big inning.

Alex Sergent singled to right to score Leigh and Hotchkiss, then Tristen Helton followed Sergent’s single with an RBI single of his own and suddenly the Boyle lead was 4-0.

But Garrard County responded with their own offense in the bottom of the third.

A single by Ethan Lamb started the bottom of the fourth, then his courtesy runner, Trace Poynter, went from first to third on an ensuing single by Trevor Jones.

Almost immediately after that, Garrard used some trickery on the basepaths to plate its first run as Jones stole second allowing Poynter to score from third on the throw to second. Two batters later, Anthony Justus ripped a double into right center field, scoring Jones then Ashton Smith laced his own double and Garrard trimmed Boyle’s four-run lead to 4-3.

The score would stay 4-3 until Boyle broke it open in the top of the fifth.

Sergent singled with one out and Helton reached on an error. Two batters later with two outs, Boyle County DH Kevin Hatfield fouled off three pitches in a row in a nine pitch at bat before being hit by a pitch on a 3-2 count. That set the stage for Boyle County’s Karson Thompson.

Thompson drove a 1-1 fastball from Lamb to straight away center field for a Grand Slam, his first home run of the year, and Boyle County had broken the game open 8-3.

“I was just trying to drive the ball up the middle like the first at bat but he threw one high to me,” Thompson said.

That 8-3 lead was more than enough cushion for Tiller, who after giving up the three runs in the bottom of the third, proceeded to record his next seven outs all with strikeouts. Tiller then gave way to Dragan who polished off the Boyle County win.

And while Boyle County’s offense looked sharp scoring double digit runs for the fifth-straight game, head coach Kyle Wynn said his team has to put that win behind him and be expecting another battle tonight versus Garrard.

“That was probably 75 percent of the talk with the players after the game. We touched on some things we should be better at but most importantly I was ready to clear it and told them to be ready to play tomorrow,” Wynn said.

And even after the loss, Garrard County head coach CJ Lynn says there’s still a lot to like for his Golden Lions offensively — who scattered nine hits against the Boyle pitchers.

“We just gotta keep fighting. I think we hit the ball well tonight, just didn’t hit it when we needed to hit it,” Lynn said. “I know we’ve got it, I know we can do it but just better approaches and smarter approaches is what we have to take.”

Garrard County will travel to Boyle County for the second of the back to back district games Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30.