Scott County successfully created a district environment against a familiar out-of-region opponent Monday and Tuesday.
That home-and-home series packed a week’s worth of wild momentum swings and mentally taxing situations into about a 26-hour window, with SC and Woodford County each claiming victory on the other’s home field.
Timely hitting and a gutsy pitching performance by Joseph Garrison staked Scott County to an 8-4 win in the opening game. Woodford County returned the favor at Sutton Field, erupting for six runs in the top of the first inning and then holding on by its fingernails for a 7-5 victory.
SC (2-4) sabotaged its hopes for a sweep by twice leaving the bases loaded and stranding 10 in all.
“We strike out a little too much right now,” SC coach Scott Willard said. “Some of them are so young that they’ve never been in these situations before. The more and more you put them in those situations, the better they’ll get at it.”
Campton Martin went 2-for-3 with three RBI, including a two-run single that took a big bite out of a 7-2 deficit in the sixth. Martin’s fellow seniors, Chase Grisgby and Zane Patton, had hits earlier in the inning, the latter a bunt single. Woodford County’s bullpen shut down that rally with three consecutive outs.
“I wasn’t disappointed with their effort, their intensity, anything like that,” Willard said. “We’ve got to hit a little better with guys on base. They’re young. They’ll figure it out. If they don’t figure it out, I’m always tinkering with the lineup.”
Walks by Andrew Willhite and Grigsby brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh, but the Cards couldn’t get over the top after Willhite’s run on a passed ball.
Evan MacCallum settled down after the rough opening frame, allowing only three hits and a pair of walks for the duration.
“I thought Evan did a good job after the first inning,” Willard said. “We’ve got to figure out what we can do to make sure he comes out ready. I don’t know if he warmed up too much or didn’t warm up enough, but it’s just something with a young pitcher we’ve got to try to figure out.”
Grigsby, Paul Garner and Ethan Miracle backed up MacCallum’s work with a pair of double plays. Garner and Grigsby each joined Martin with two hits.
Garrison escaped jams in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings Monday, stranding multiple Yellow Jackets on base in each.
He allowed five hits and two earned runs over 6 1/3 innings, striking out seven.
Garner registered the final two outs after Garrison topped 100 pitches.
SC scored four runs in the top of the seventh to give its young pitcher some breathing room. Walks by Grigsby and Patton and a passed ball led to a pair when Woodford County mishandled Martin’s ground ball.
Consecutive singles by Luke Colvin, Ethan Miracle and Connor Ramsey padded the lead.
The Cards built a 4-0 advantage with one run in the first and three in the third. Patton was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a dropped pop-up to put SC on the board.
Back-to-back doubles by Martin and Colvin and Miracle’s single inflicted the damage in the third. Colvin and Miracle each went 2-for-4 with two RBI.
“We’re going to see top-notch pitchers when we get into district games, so all this is good for us,” Willard said.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.