Tuesday, May 02, 2017 - Updated: 8:29 AM
Following a rainy season that forced games delays and an ever changing schedule, Lyon County is facing 11 games in 10 days against some of the First and Second Region's best to finish out the regular season. The Lyons are ready for whatever the teams have to throw at them, according to head coach Greg Vincent.
The Lyons are 10-9 overall, but have wins over the three other Fifth District teams. Of the nine losses, four were within a single run.
"I'm tremendously happy with this team," Vincent said. "This is the bet baseball team Lyon County's ever had. Our pitching has just been fantastic. It's been more than I could have dreamed of. That's our strong point, by far.... I'll put our pitching with anybody in the [Second] Region.
"For the most part, we've played exceptional defense. If we make a mistake, it's usually on a base pass and it usually hurts us."
Despite their success and movement in the right direction, Vincent said the team isn't where they need to be heading into the final stretch.
"As good as we are, we still do some little things wrong," Vincent said. "We're not running the bases well. That's the main thing."
Kicking off the stretch of games is a special night for the Lyons, both those in uniform and the supporters in the stands. Lyon County hosts Trigg County — who the Lyons defeated 7-4 last week to improve to 3-0 in the district — as part of Green the Grandstands. The night will serve as a fundraiser for the Ellis Memorial Greenhouse.
The greenhouse will be built at Lyon County High School, and named in honor of Tony Ellis. Tony's son Avery is one of Lyon County's stand out pitchers this season. Many in the bleachers remember Ellis — who died last year after suffering a sudden heart attack — for his support and volunteerism with the Lyons.
Carol Bridges and Mandy Carney have helped organize Green the Grandstands. Last week, Bridges said fundraising t-shirts are still available for purchase.
Akridge Ace Hardware will also be on hand May 9 with a Big Green Egg demonstration, serving up something to eat fresh off the grill. Chances to win the grill will also be available.
Following Green the Grandstands, Lyon County will round out regular season district play May 10 hosting Livingston Central and at Crittenden County May 13. In between are matches against Dawson Springs, Hopkinsville and St. Mary. Through the remainder of the season, Lyon County will lean on its pitching and fielding, which has resulted in the third fewest runs allowed (92) in the Second Region. Only Livingston Central (66) and Caldwell County (45) have given up fewer.
Ellis has helped step up as a leader on that defense.
"Overall, our pitching staff has been phenomenal," Ellis said. "In the Murray game, I felt like we came in there and played hot. We were expecting a whole lot less than what we got out of that game.
"There's been two or three games when we've pitched two or three pitchers and given up very few runs. Our pitching staff has really come along since last year."
Max Wadlington has also found his niche on the mound. Wadlington game in for just two batters against Livingston Central, but helped protect Lyon's lead. With the bases loaded and one out on the board, Wadlington shut down the Cardinals batters to get Lyon County off the field with a 3-1 win.
Wadlington attributes a different approach to improvements this season, particularly resting his arm.
"Last year I kind of went into it, starting out throwing JV," Wadlington said. "I was throwing more starting games, with a lot more innings and a lot more pitches. Now I'm coming in when we need a few outs, and I give it all I've got those few pitches. Thats been helping the velocity come out."
On Monday, Wadlington helped lift Lyon to a 6-4 win over visiting Ohio County.
On the other side of the ball, Gabe Board has been one of Lyon County's consistent big hitters. Board said he'd feeling great about the team heading into the final stretch.
"I am confident in this ball team," Board said. "I believe in them. We're just all in this together. We're going to do something big this postseason."
Board said he's more focused now in his hitting, leading to better hits. He's also changed up his stance this year.
"I've started to be more open instead of closed and standing more tall instead of slouched over," Board said.
The trio said they feel confident in the team as they head into the postseason.