Hot bats, quality defense and, apparently, Pepto-Bismol gave Greenup the edge in a 10-0 first-round romp over Muhlenberg County in six innings in the KHSAA state baseball tournament on Thursday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
According to Greenup County Coach Greg Logan, outfielder Isaiah Greene and an assistant coach were a little under the weather for the start of the game. Last night at about 2:30 a.m., a painful ailment sent the assistant to the University of Kentucky’s Chandler Hospital.
"Had kidney stones, or he said he did. He was moaning and groaning to that," Logan said. "I guess he thought UK didn't do their job so he had the Pepto-Bismol."
Logan said Greene and Collier Wireman — Greenup County seniors who combined for three of the team's runs — were also sharing the half-empty bottle of the medicine that was sitting out in the sun near the dugout railing.
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"I guess we're just going to keep it around for awhile, seemed to work out real well," Logan said. "Sitting there in the sun, I don't know if I'd take a hit off it or not."
Muhlenberg County committed six errors in the game, and from start to finish they paid for all of them. Greenup County senior Gage Hughes — who was drafted in the 24th round of the MLB amateur draft by the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday — scored on his first swing of the bat.
Hughes, the leadoff batter in the bottom of the first, sent a mile-high rocket to right field. The Muhlenberg outfielder misplayed the flyball, and the hit, which was scored as a triple, landed behind him. Hughes rounded second and stopped momentarily at third. When the right-fielder threw home, the infield seemed not to notice and the ball scampered to the backstop and Hughes scored on the error.
Hughes scored two runs on two hits, Wireman scored twice on three hits and also knocked in four runs.
Hazard 5, Corbin 1
After pitching seven innings and striking out 16 batters in Hazard's first-round win, starter Devin Morris wanted to do one thing: lie down.
Surrounded by his teammates, Hazard's right-handed senior ace sprawled out on the grass in front of the visitor's dugout and took a moment to stretch out the cramps that came from throwing 109 pitches in Thursday's hot afternoon sun.
"Yeah, it was hot, but it didn't matter," Morris said a couple minutes after whiffing the final four batters of the game to give the Hazard Bulldogs the victory over Corbin in their first-round KHSAA baseball tournament matchup.
Hazard head coach John Meehan said his starter's complete game was exceptional but not unprecedented.
"Sixteen strikeouts in a state tournament game — I'm not surprised," Meehan said.
Morris surrendered three hits and four walks.
His stellar outing was almost derailed in the first inning, as state tournament jitters might have gotten inside the pitcher's head. Morris walked the first two batters, including Kentucky commit Chase Estep.
Meehan approached the mound to deflate the situation.
"I'm not out here to talk to you about nothing," Meehan said he told Morris in the first. "Just take a breath big guy."
Following the visit, Morris picked off Estep at first, and then went on the strike out the next six batters.
Estep, who was the Corbin pitcher credited with the loss, seemed to be one of the few Redhounds who could consistently produce any offense. The junior infielder and pitcher scored Corbin's only run, and had one hit, a walk and reached second on an error.
Hazard and Greenup County will face off on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.