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Morgan cruises past Menifee in All 'A' baseball opener

April 9, 2014
By Brad Laux of 1016sports

Tuesday, Apr. 8 --  Host Morgan County (4-6) posted double-digit run totals in the first and third innings en route to a 29-1, five-inning victory over Menifee County (0-11) in the opening round of the 16th Region All “A” baseball tournament on Tuesday. The Cougars pounded out 21 hits with Perry Franklin, Joey Stamper, Lance Fredrick, Logan Hembree and Coby Lumpkins each collecting at least two. In total, 11 Morgan County players recorded a hit. Fredrick led the way with four RBI, while Hembree contributed three.

Ryan Gibson earned the win. He pitched four innings and allowed one unearned run and no hits, while striking out six and walking one. Franklin came in to relieve him for the fifth inning and struck out the side.

Morgan collected eight hits en route to scoring 10 runs in the opening frame. Seven Cougars reached base in the second as the team scored four more times.

The Wildcats put a pair of runners on base in the top of the third. Colby Prince drew a one-out walk and Chase Baker reached on a fielding error on the next play, but the team left two runners stranded after a strikeout and infield out ended the threat.

The hosts posted their biggest offensive totals in the third as they sent 19 batters to the plate, registered eight hits and capitalized off six Wildcat errors, in scoring 13 times.

Menifee County’s Cory Cornett reached base on a fielding error to lead off the top of the fourth. He then stole second and third, and scored after the ball was misplayed on the latter steal. Morgan County added two runs in the bottom of the fourth, before Franklin came in to finish the game on the mound.

Despite the score, Wildcat pitchers Cornett and Austin Richards allowed just four earned runs. Cornett suffered the loss in two innings of work. He notched one strikeout, while Richards had three pitching the final two frames.

It was just the second All “A” Tournament win ever for the Cougars, who will advance on to face host Fairview in Wednesday’s semifinals at 6:30 p.m. The championship game will be on Thursday at 6 p.m. with the Morgan-Fairview winner facing West Carter, which claimed a 7-6 victory over Raceland Tuesday evening.

Menifee County   0  0  0  1  0 --  1  0  9
Morgan County  10  4 13  2  x -- 29 21 4


Pre-game notes:  Tuesday opens 16th Regional All "A" baseball and softball tournament action. The opening-round contests were slated to be played yesterday, but with impending storms in the forecast, they were moved to today. With just five teams (Menifee County, Morgan County, West Carter, Raceland, Fairview) in both fields, both first-round games will feature Menifee at Morgan. Tonight I will be at baseball for a 6 p.m. start. Morgan County (3-6) dropped its game on Saturday at Raceland 6-5, but won the previous two over Wolfe County 10-0 in five innings last Tuesday at home and 9-0 on the road at Elliott County on Wednesday. The Cougars sport a 2-2 record at home this season. Morgan County has only been eligible to participate in the All “A” Tournament since 2011 and has a 1-3 record during that span, with its lone victory coming in 2012 in the quarterfinals over Bath County (14-7 in Olive Hill). Last year, the Cougars fell to Fairview 7-6. Menifee County (0-10) has struggled this season and has been out-scored 179-9. The club has not scored in its last four games, dropping contests to Rowan County (in a doubleheader), Wolfe County and Bath County. The Wildcats have not won since May 7, 2012 (at Elliott County 13-2), a stretch that includes 38 overall contests and 27 road outings. The team is 0-7 on the road this year. Last spring in the All "A", Russell defeated Menifee 16-0. The Wildcats’ last win in the tournament came in 2005, when the club captured a pair of victories en route to the championship game. On the whole, the team has dropped nine straight All “A” Tournament contests. Tonight will be the second of three meetings between the two clubs this season, both of which have first-year coaches. Morgan County won 18-0 in five innings on Mar. 19. The two are slated to play again in three days in Frenchburg. The neighboring counties have met at least once each season since 2010, with Morgan leading the series 7-0 in that time. The last Wildcat victory over the Cougars came on Apr. 5, 2004, in West Liberty (10-8). Tonight’s winner will face host Fairview tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. in the second semifinal. The first semifinal between West Carter and Raceland is being played tonight. The championship will be Thursday at Fairview at 6 p.m.

See videos: Morgan County junior third baseman Lance Fredrick, Morgan County coach Jared Hammonds, Menifee County coach Oscar Brewer.

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