High School Baseball

Defenders come out swinging to end city skid

On a night when Bryan Station remembered its baseball past, the Defenders ended a bleak streak in its recent baseball history, too.

Pumped up by a pre-game ceremony honoring Bryan Station grad and former major-leaguer Doug Flynn, the Defenders knocked off 12th-ranked Henry Clay 5-3 Wednesday night.

The Defenders ended a five-year, 29-game losing skid against city public schools, and snapped a 10-game, six-year losing streak to Henry Clay.

"It was a special night," said first-year coach Eddie Brooks. "Retiring a Bryan Station legend's number, then getting a win for these kids.

"This is a huge burden off their shoulders. The seniors have been here four years and haven't been able to get a big district win like this. I'm glad to be a part of that."

Chase Turner, a senior pitcher who got his first win of the season, called it "amazing. I've been here four years, and to finally get a (city win), I'm just so excited."

Turner said having Flynn on hand "energized us. We wanted to come out and show him that we can play."

The Defenders jumped on Henry Clay freshman starter Will Hurt right off the bat.

Bryan Station's first eight batters reached base, and five scored. Patrick Cornett, Aaron Helton, Brady Boling and Del Clay each collected hits, with Helton, Boling and Clay driving in runs.

Bryan Station could have added more when it had the bases loaded with no outs, but Hurt escaped further damage.

Turner, who got out of a bases-crammed jam himself in the first, worked into the fifth inning. He gave up seven hits, one run, struck out six and walked five.

Henry Clay trimmed the deficit to 5-3 in the fifth on Michael Buschmann's solo homer and Ryan McCray's RBI single.

Bryan Station wasted a prime scoring opportunity in the bottom of the fifth. It loaded the bases with no outs, but reliever James Hendron got a fly out to short left and a pair of strikeouts to leave the Defenders empty-handed.

But Bryan Station's pitchers and defense kept the Blue Devils from coming back.

Yuron Washington got a key strikeout to end the fifth.

Freshman Ryne Combs worked the last two innings, including a perfect seventh when he had a pair of strikeouts.

"Pitching is the backbone of this team," Brooks said. "Our pitchers are starting to do what they need to do.

"And tonight we got enough hits to scratch out enough runs, and we played decent enough defense to get the job done."

And to finally get a victory over a city rival.

Henry Clay 010 020 0—3 7 1

Bryan Station 500 000 x—5 5 2

Will Hurt, James Hendron (5) and Ryan McCray; Chase Turner, Yuron Washington (5), Ryne Combs (6) and Brady Boling. W—Turner. L—Hurt. HR—Michael Buschmann (HC).

RecordsHenry Clay 4-4, Bryan Station 4-5.