By STEVE CORNELIUS, CJ Sports Editor
After a slow start in the first two innings, the Briar Jumpers put it all together with a 10-run third inning en route to a 15-1 (5 inning) win over Casey County High School in the first round of the 47th District Baseball Tournament at Charlie Taylor Field.
The Rebels scored in their very first at-bats, and the Jumpers countered with a three runs of their own in the bottom half of the first after Jumpers’ junior Charlie Dishman blasted a three-run homer to left field to plate Jacob Pelston and Addison Thompson.
“We came out before the game flat,” Somerset head coach Phil Grundy stated. “I was upset about infield-outfield and I made them run. I guess I always get a little anxious and agitated before these types of elimination games. We have had most of these kids since kindergarten and we expect them to match the intensity of the coaching staff. I mean, I want to win every game we play and I want them to feel the same way. They know this is an elimination game and they know this is an opportunity to play in the Region at Rockcastle.”
Somerset left no doubt that they were going to play in the region after they sent 14 batters to the plate in the third inning, resulting in 10 runs off 7 hits.
In the third, Dishman singled to start off the inning and later scored off Rebels’ throwing error. Kenny Spear singled to center to score Logan Combs – courtesy running for Bryson Jones. Will Hislope doubled to left field to score Spear and Justin Smith – courtesy running for pitcher Heath Ehrsam. Pelston singled to left to plate Hislope. Dishman, who went a perfect 3-for-3 in the game, singled to left to score Chandler Purcell. Bryson Jones doubled to centerfield to score Pelston and Thompson. Dishman scored off a Casey County wild pitch and, finally, Combs scored off a Casey throwing error.
As if the game was in any doubt, Somerset tacked on 2 more runs in the home half of the fourth inning to put the score at 15-1. Thompson singled to right field to score Hislope, and Jones hit a ground rule double over the left-center wall to score Purcell.
“Today, we swung the bats,” Grundy vaunted. “Charlie Dishman got us going with a three-run homer, then Hislope and Jones had a big doubles. We have to hit all the way through the line-up and that is what we did. Tonight, we got production from our 6-7-8-9 spots. After we got past our problems early on, it was a fun game to coach. Right now it is survive and advance, and that is what we did.”
Ehrsam picked up the win on the mound in five innings of work, giving up a run, three hits and striking out 8 batters.
Somerset squared off with Pulaski County High School last night for the 47th District Tournament title. Both teams will advance to next week’s 12th Region Tournament at Rockcastle County High School.
CC 1 0 0 0 0 – 1 3 2
SHS 3 0 10 2 X – 15 13 0
2B – Jones 2, Hislope 2.
HR – Dishman.
RBI – Dishman 4, Spear, Hislope 2, Pelston, Jones 3, Thompson.
WP – Ehrsam.