By Don Brown
A one-out single by Ty Davis in the bottom of the seventh inning drove in the winning run to complete a remarkable comeback for the Cougars as they defeated the Edmonson County Wildcats 4-3 on Senior Night last Tuesday evening.
Edmonson County’s Alex Basil had held the Cougars completely in check over the first five innings of play He had allowed the Cougars just two first-inning singles and his team had supplied him with three runs. It looked bleak for the Cougars, but they rallied to tie it in the sixth inning, and won it in their final at bat on the walk-off hit by Davis.
The game also marked the return to the mound of junior right-hander Kevin Pierce, who had been out of action since breaking a finger on his pitching hand in early April.
Pierce didn’t have his usual control, walking four, but he was sharp enough to earn the win. He allowed just three hits on the day and gave up three runs, one of which was unearned. He struck out three and picked a runner off first base.
The Wildcats got on the board with a pair of runs in the third inning. Basil led off with a single up the middle and moved to second as Logan Poteet walked. Pierce got Tyler Thompson to hit into a force on Poteet at second, putting runners at the corners.
Poteet then stole second to put runners at second and third for Harrison Smith, who hit a slow roller to Jameson Van Meter at second. Smith was credited with an RBI when Basil scored, and when Van Meter’s throw was wild, Thompson also came in to score to make it 2-0.
The Cats added another run in the top of the fifth after two were out. Thompson walked, stole second, then scored when Smith’s blooper fell just beyond the glove of a diving Davis in short center-field.
That was it for the Wildcats as Pierce retired the last seven batters he faced, and when the Cougars rallied, he went from being tagged with a tough loss, to being given an unexpected win.
Basil was cruising though the first five innings. After giving up a pair of hits and a walk in the first inning, but not being scored upon, Basil retired nine straight batters before walking Joseph Anthony with two outs in the fourth. Basil then retired the next five straight batters before the Cougars found the key that unlocked their bats in the sixth.
After Davis grounded back to Basil for the first out of the inning, third-baseman Joey Henry singled to left, then stole second base. Henry was able to score when Dalton Logsdon drove a double to the wall in right-center. Basil struck out Jakob Clemons for the second out, but Joseph Anthony was safe when his grounder to third-baseman Drew Decker was bobbled for an error, putting runners at the corners.
With first-baseman Justin Calvert at the plate, Anthony stole second base. Calvert quickly went into an 0-2 hole, but centered the next pitch from Basil and roped it down the line in left for a two-run double which tied the score 3-3. Basil was able to retire Van Meter for the third out, but the damage had been done, and the Cougars were charged up and ready to complete the comeback.
Designated hitter Logan Nichols led off the seventh inning by lining the first pitch he saw into the hole at short for a single. Dylan Woodcock replaced Nichols on the bases and was promptly moved to second when Basil was called for a balk.
Logan Ramsey drove a ball deep to right that advanced Woodcock to third, bringing up Davis. The Cougar shortstop took Basil’s first delivery for a strike, but ripped the next pitch back up the middle to drive Woodcock home and take the breath away from the stunned Wildcat fans, who had been whooping and hollering all day.
The Cougars improved to 20-7 with the win, while the Wildcats fell to 13-14.