Ham

Somerset High School senior Alex Ham (center) is congratulated at home plate after hitting a solo homer in the second inning of the 12th Region Baseball Tournament semifinal game. The Briar Jumpers advanced to the 12th Region Tournament championship game with a 5-2 win over Boyle County on Sunday.+

Somerset High School sophomore pitcher Kade Grundy fired a one-hitter in the Briar Jumpers' 5-2 win over Boyle County in the semifinals of the 12th Region Tournament on Sunday. The win vaulted the Briar Jumpers into Monday's 12th Region Baseball Tournament championship game for the first time since 2014. The last time a Somerset High School baseball team won a region title was in 2007, which was Coach Phil Grundy's first regional crown as the Briar Jumper head coach.

"This is what we want with an opportunity to get some revenge on Danville and play for a regional title," stated Coach Grundy. "We feel like our schedule has prepared us to play a team like Danville."

Kade Grundy pitched the entire seven innings without incidents. The University of Louisville commit gave up a solo homer to the Rebels' Carson Thompson in the bottom of the first inning, and that was it. The Rebels got a runner on base off an error in the fifth inning. Two more runners got on base via errors in the seventh inning, with one of them scoring off an RBI ground out.

After Boyle County took the early 1-0 lead, Somerset senior Alex Ham blasted a solo homer to right field to tie the score at 1-1 in the top of the second inning.

While Grundy was mowing down Rebel batters on the mound, the Jumpers' offense started piling on runs in the third and fourth innings.

Somerset scored three runs in the top of the third inning. Kade Grundy singled and Cam Ryan walked to put two runners on base with one out. Gavin Stephens singled up the middle of the infield to score Grundy. Chance Stayton doubled to right field to score Ryan. Dylan Burton grounded out to plate Stephens.

The Briar Jumpers put one more run on the board in the fourth inning when Stephens grounded out to scored Pancho Zaragoza, who reached base on a bunt single.

The game was halted for 32 minutes, between the sixth and seventh innings, when a vicious rain storm rolled into Southwestern's Warrior Stadium. But not even the rain could slow down the Jumpers' momentum or their ace pitcher Kade Grundy.

"I am really proud of our guys and the way they hit the ball," Coach Grundy stated. "That big home run by Alex Ham got us jump started and then Kade (Grundy) pitched a one-hitter. All our players had big hits. Gavin (Stephens), Chance (Stayton), and Dylan (Burton) all had big hits. (Dakota) Acey had another big game and saved us a few times playing at first base."

Offensively for Somerset, Alex Ham hit a homer, had two hits, drove in a run and reached base on all four of his plate appearances. Gavin Stephens drove in two runs.

Somerset (21-12) will play Danville High School (34-6) on Monday, May 27, at 3 p.m., for the 12th Region crown. Danville defeated Somerset 5-1 in the 12th Region All "A" Finals on April 13.

STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at sports@somerset-kentucky.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.

Steve Cornelius has worked as a journalist at the Commonwealth Journal since 2001, and has been the CJ Sports Editor since 2005.