A 4-3 win decided in extra innings over Owensboro Catholic earned Lyon County baseball a trip to Lexington for the first time in school history. All 16 region winners battled it out last week to advance to the state semifinals with the Lyons of Region 2 facing off against Owensboro Catholic of Region 3.
It was a hot one, partially from the artificial turf on the WKU field in Bowling Green that delayed the game by a few hours due to heat advisory, but mostly for the nail-biter of a game that went eight innings.
Lyon County started out with two outs, just three batters into the first inning. Jackson Shoulders was the first Lyon County batter to hit off of Owensboro pitcher Everett Munsey. Shoulders’ line drive single to center put Aidan Rush on third after he was hit by a pitch. Gunnar Bingham batted in both Shoulders and Rush with a triple to center, giving the Lyons the early lead.
Munsey kept the Lyons at a standstill until the fourth inning when Christian O’Daniel started things off with a double deep into left. It looked as though he may be left on base until Brady Darnall with two outs on the board, dropped one in center just far enough to send O’Daniel home and add a run to the 3-0 score.
Long was beast atop the mound keeping Owensboro scoreless until the sixth inning, striking out eight and walking two.
The Aces put Evans on base in the bottom of the sixth on a Lyon County fielding error. Long allowed his only run of the night when the next batter, Scales, pounded one to right field that allowed Evans to score and trimmed the Lyons 3-1 lead. With two outs, when Long threw just his second walk of the night, Shoulders was sent in, in relief. With Scales at third and Munday at second on a steal, Shoulders sniped the final batter before any more damage could be done.
After two singles and only one out, Scales was intentionally walked, loading the bases in hopes to set the Lyon defense up for a double play. Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out. The Aces tied the game, 3-3 on a sacrifice fly by Munsey.
Lyon County bats were dormant again in the seventh, sending the game into extra innings. Shoulders, who was tagged with the win on the mound, drove in courtesy runner John Bingham, who was on for Travis Yancy, to score the game-winning run. Shoulders held them off in the bottom of the inning.
Shoulders (4-0) threw the final two innings surrendering two runs on four hits striking out one and walking one. Long who threw the first 5 2/3 innings, allowing one unearned run over four hits.
Shoulders was 3-for-4 at the plate with the game-winning run. O’Daniel was 2-for-4 with a double scoring one run. While Bingham only had one hit, his triple scored two pivotal early inning RBIs.
The Lyons advance to the Elite Eight, where they play Whitley County at Legends Field in Lexington.