Boyle baseball team gets easy sweep of Danville

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, April 18, 2024

Nice and easy.

That’s how Cameron Owens wanted his first pitching appearance in more than two years to go, and that’s exactly how it went.

That’s also how Boyle County hoped its two-game series with Danille would go, and that’s exactly how it went.

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Boyle racked up two mercy-rule victories over Danville this week, winning 14-4 in six innings Tuesday and 20-3 in five innings Wednesday to claim a share of the early lead in the 45th District standings.

The Rebels got plenty of hits and plenty of help from the Admirals as they posted their highest and third-highest run totals of the season.

They also got a lift from Owens, who returned to the mound for the first time since March 22, 2022, and threw two scoreless innings of relief.

Owens has been Boyle’s top hitter for the past two seasons and is a mainstay at shortstop, but he pitched only eight innings as a sophomore in 2022 and didn’t pitch at all as a junior last season due to a back injury he suffered during his freshman season.

Only Owens and Boyle coach Adam Blair knew the senior right-hander would pitch Tuesday, but Owens said he had been preparing for his return to the mound for some time.

“I’ve been ready for this moment for a while,” Owens said. “I’ve been throwing a few bullpens recently and they’ve been going pretty well, so I decided, ‘Why not try it in a game?’” Owens said.

Owens, who signed with Kentucky in November, underwent a great deal of rehab and treatment to be able to play regularly last season and to be able to pitch again this season.

He was put on a low pitch count “just to play it safe,” and he allowed one hit, walked one batter, hit one batter and had two strikeouts in an outing of about 40 pitches.

“We’re really happy that he got out there,” Blair said. “He’s worked his tail off to be able to pitch, and everyone is proud and happy to see him out there doing a good job for us and to be able to show us what he can do.”

Owens said he felt comfortable on the mound, and he hoped it would lead to more work on the mound.

“I’m going to slowly work my way back up. I’m going to take a few days off and see how it feels to me and then try it again,” he said.

Boyle (13-4, 2-0 district) took advantage of 13 walks and hit batsmen on Tuesday and nine errors on Wednesday to sweep Danville (8-10, 2-2) and snap a three-game losing streak.

“We’ve been trying to harp all year (on) trying to keep people off the bases, giving them free bases,” Danville coach C.J. Lynn said. “Free bases always hurt you, so we’ve got to make sure (to) try and limit that aspect.”

The Rebels also had 25 hits in the two games, though it took a bit of time for their bats to get going Tuesday.

Playing only their second game in 11 days, they fell behind 4-0 before scoring 14 unanswered runs.

“We didn’t play at all last week due to rain, so we’ve been a little rusty, but after we got into the groove of things we started going pretty well,” Owens said.

Owens went 6 for 8, Sage Dawson was 6 for 9 and Logan Marsee was 4 for 7 at the plate in the two games. Dawson and Coleman Stewart homered in the Wednesday win.

Brayden West pitched a five-inning complete game Wednesday, allowing five hits. Marsee allowed four runs in three innings to earn the win Tuesday.

It was a bounce-back series for Boyle, which had lost its previous three games and which traveled to Owensboro later in the week for the Kentucky 2A Championships. The Rebels played Taylor County in a quarterfinal Friday night, and the semifinals and finals were scheduled for Saturday.

“We’re excited about the week, and we’re off on the right foot right now,” Blair said.

Danville had eight hits in the two games, including three by Fox Spears, who ranked first in the state in batting average at .625 when the series began.

Spears hit a three-run home run Tuesday, and Wyatt Gale had two hits Wednesday.