The Bourbon County Colonels arrived on the Hilltop with a cocky team and an 18-1 record as they faced the 14-7 Harrison County Thorobreds.
They left the Hilltop seven innings later talking trash with an 18-2 mark following the Thorobreds 3-2 win.
The game was dominated by sophomore Gus Garrison’s pitching and six innings of stellar fielding by his Harrison County teammates.
One play that stands out on the positive side for the Breds was a third inning catch on a bloop fly ball made by second baseman Brandon Case.
Case made a running overhis-head grab on fellow second baseman Nick Wheeler’s ball that had weak base hit written all over it.
Garrison fanned two of three batters in the first with an uncanny ability to locate his pitches.
It took only 13 pitches to get through the first inning. In the bottom of the first after C.J. Claypool struck out, Brett Persinger walked and advanced to third on a ringing double by left fielder Zach Royce.
After starting Colonel pitcher Dalton Pope struck out John King, Robbie Stroub hit a soft grounder to third which was thrown wildly by Tyler Bretz allowing Persinger to score.
Pope then struck out Conner Free to end the inning.
Garrison again sat the Colonels down in order in the second, and though the Breds threatened with two runners on base, they did not add to the lead.
The slick lefty struck out two more in the third as again the Colonels went down in order.
Pope then allowed a one-out single to King followed by three consecutive walks to score the Breds second run.
The hard-throwing right hander seemed to be frustrated by some calls fueled by a vocal umpiring section in the Bourbon County stands.
Bourbon County mounted a mild threat in the fourth with two outs as catcher Ben Schanding doubled followed by a walk to Bretz.
Shortstop Devin Bellville hit a weak grounder back to Garrison for the third out ending the hope for a run in the inning.
Bellville followed his ground out by making an error on Noah Mitchell’s grounder to open the Harrison County fourth. However, the Breds’ right fielder was thrown out trying to steal and the home team was held scoreless again in the fourth.
Neither team threatened again until the top of the seventh.
Bretz led off the inning with a home run to make the score 2-1 and cause a real stir in the Bourbon County fan base, which lined the north side of the field.
Bellville then hit a pop fly to right for the first out followed by a soft liner to center by Pope.
Unfortunately, Claypool, who was playing center, dropped this fly and the next fly ball hit by Wheeler putting runners on first and third.
First baseman Kaven Brown popped up to short for the second out leaving Garrison one out away from the win.
Shelby Jackson then hit what looked to be a routine ground ball to shortstop but it took a crazy bounce hitting Persinger in the face allowing the tying run to score.
Garrison then got a fly ball to left to end the inning with the score tied at two runs each.
Persinger led off the bottom of the seventh with a ground ball to short, which was misplayed by Bellville for his second error of the game.
Royce then singled and King was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Stroub hit a shot to right, which was caught for the first out. Conner Free lofted a deep fly to center field, which scored Persinger to end the game.
The second game of the Thursday twin bill was against the 5-11 Paris Greyhounds.
The Thorobreds were again bolstered by a stellar pitching performance this time from freshman Reese Asher.
Asher pitched six innings of one-hit ball allowing four base runners.
After the emotional Bourbon County game, the Breds seemed a little flat at the plate but still pushed across all the runs that they would need in the bottom of the first.
Claypool singled and scored on Royce’s first home run of the year for a 2-0 lead after one inning.
Conner Free doubled and scored on Mitchell’s single in the second for a 3-0 lead as Asher continued to frustrate the Paris’ batters in the top of the inning.
The Thorobreds scored twice more in the fourth on a Logan Kellione lead off single, a balk, an error, a Gus Garrison single and another error.
Brett Persinger pitched the seventh to close out the game and the 5-0 Harrison County win.
It is almost common place when there is a ceremony honoring someone that the baseball team has a little let down in the game that follows.
Friday would have been a perfect time for the let down as the beloved Coach Ronnie Earle was honored in the Fence of Fame along with Jim Schmidt prior to the game.
That was not the case though as the Breds jumped all over a bevy of Lions pitchers for 11 hits and 13 runs for a five-inning, 13-to-2 win.
After Harrison County starter Nolan Brossart had set the Lions down on one hit in the top of the first, the Thorobreds put two runs on the board in the bottom of the inning.
Lewis County starter Jordan Doyle fanned the first two batters then Zach Royce singled and John King followed with his first home run of the year for the 2-0 lead.
Brossart struck out the side in the second and his teammates put four runs across the plate in the bottom of the inning to put the game out of reach.
Harrison County scored the second inning runs on a single by Luke Slucher, three walks, a passed ball on a third strike and a Royce double.
After another one, two, three inning for Lewis County in the third Harrison County scored five more runs for an 11-0 lead going into the top of the fourth inning.
Three straight singles by Case, Mitchell and Claypool followed by a fielder’s choice and a third base hit in the game for Royce scored the five runs.
A two-out base hit for Mark Taylor scored Mitchell and Claypool in the fourth for a 13 -0 lead before Lewis County scored a couple of unearned runs in the fifth for the final 13-2 Harrison County victory. The loss leaves the Lions with an 11-7 record while the Thorobreds improve to 17-7.
Harrison County’s game for Monday with Scott County was rained out making the next scheduled game Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Nicholas County.
The Breds travel on Thursday to Franklin County for a 5:30 p.m. game with the Flyers and then return to Franklin County to participate in the Flyer Classic on Friday. The May 2 trip will be a doubleheader with the Breds facing East Jessamine at 5:30 p.m. and Greenup County at 8 p.m.