Edmonson County Wins 7-3
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Wildcats enjoyed a memorable win tonight over the Russellville Panthers as they won 7-3 at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Russellville had booked the game at the home of the Hot Rods during the off season as a special occasion for April 1st. It just so happened that the Wildcats were booked as the opponent for this game, and as a result, they were able to play on a field on which not many teams get to play.
A couple of errors for the Wildcats helped the Panthers get on the board in the top of the first as Russellville lead 2-0. Eighth-grader Hunter Wilson led off in the bottom of the the first with a single. He stole second and then scored when senior Gavyn Minyard doubled. A hit-by-pitch and an error on Russellville allowed a couple more base runners, which led to another run after Cole Bullock hit a sacrifice fly to tie the score at 2 each.
Pitcher Andrew Talley settled in for the rest of the game and paced the Wildcats on the mound, going the distance while allowing no earned runs, 6 hits, and three walks, while striking out 10.
Leading the offense was Michael Mills (3-3), Gavyn Minyard (3-4, 1 RBI), and Cole Bullock (2-2, 3 RBIs). Bullock, Talley, Minyard, and Daren Alexander all notched doubles against the Panthers and Mills earned a triple on a hard slide into third.
ECHS Head Coach Michael Meredith said the atmosphere took some getting used to for a team full of young players, and it showed early.
"We were nervous, we played nervous and we were very anxious at the plate," he said. "But we were able to do some good things and earn the win. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of kids, so I'm grateful and thankful for the opportunity to play at a facility like this, it's just I was hoping we would shake off the nervousness a little better, but that's part of it."
Meredith discussed Talley's strong performance on the mound.
"Andrew threw a great ballgame. He struggled during his last outing so this was big for him. I didn't feel like the two runs Russellville got in the first were on Andrew. He threw strikes all night long and I'm proud he showed he can be another go-to guy on the mound. He was really looking forward to tonight when I told him he was going to start and he went out there and done the job."
Meredith said after losing 9 seniors and being somewhat inexperienced, the goal is still to defend the district championship.
"The first game of the season, we put 5 guys out there with very little varsity experience, and we struggled early," he said. "But we're cleaning things up a bit and we've won 5 in a row. We just want to keep getting better, and that's working on the little things to make us better. We played really good defense over the last few games. We had a couple errors tonight, but I credit that to nerves. I mean, heck, I was nervous, too, so I get that. But moving forward, we just want to continue to get better."
Edmonson County is now 5-2 on the season and is scheduled to play in the Warren County Invitational next week during spring break.