Somerset wins 12th Regional Baseball Tournament

ALL SMILES — Somerset catcher Chance Stayton and the Somerset Briar Jumpers were all smiles, after rallying on Monday afternoon to take down arch-rival Danville in the championship game of the 12th Regional Baseball Tournament by a final score of 10-9. It was Stayton’s two-run triple in the top of the seventh inning that erased a 9-8 Danville lead, giving Phil Grundy and company their first regional crown since the 2007 season. Photo by David Rogers

By DOUG EADS

Just call them 12th Regional champions — and they earned it.

The Somerset Briar Jumpers brought home their first regional title in baseball since 2007 on Monday afternoon at Southwestern High School, and they did it in dramatic fashion and exercised some demons in the process.

When the dust was settled in the 2019 regional tourney, it was Phil Grundy and crew surviving and rallying, to take down arch-rival Danville when it mattered the most by a final count of 10-9.



“This is what we wanted,” stated a very happy coach Grundy afterwards. “We wanted an opportunity to compete and win a regional title, and we wanted it to be against Danville.”

“The Admirals have a great program, and they have been a thorn in our side in the past, and we wanted one more shot at them,” continued the Somerset head coach, after his team moved to 22-12 on the  season with the win. “They knocked us out earlier in the year in the All A, and we wanted another shot at them. I love our guys, and I love this team. They worked hard, and through all the ups and downs of this season, they hung tough and stayed together, and they just kept working extremely hard. This is a great group, and I love being their head coach.”

It was Kade Grundy who set the tone early in Monday’s title game against Danville, as he homered to lead off the game giving Somerset a quick, 1-0 lead.

However, the Admirals would quickly erase that deficit in the home half of the first inning, and basically forced Somerset to play from behind for most of the day.

The Briar Jumpers trailed the Ads 9-8 going into their final at bat in the top of the seventh, and that’s when Chance Stayton came through in the clutch for Somerset big time.

Stayton tripled home the tying and go-ahead runs with a clutch, two RBI hit, and Somerset had the 10-9 advantage.

Danville meanwhile could muster no threat whatsoever in the bottom of the seventh, and the celebration was underway.

Kade Grundy went 3-4 at the plate with his home run and a run driven in, while Dylan Burton — who got the start on the mound for Somerset — also went 3-4 at the plate with two RBI’s.



Stayton was 3-5 at the plate with three runs driven in including the game-winning hit, and Cole Reynolds added a double, and also drove in a pair of runs.

Dakota Acey picked up the win in relief for Somerset, throwing 2 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, allowing Danville three hits while fanning three batters.

With the win, Somerset will move on to the KHSAA State Baseball Tournament, where the Briar Jumpers will take on the winner of the 11th Region in Sub Sectional round of the playoffs.

That game is slated for this weekend.



Pulaski County and Southwestern have tough roads to 12th Regional crown

Pulaski County junior Eva Gover looks on at her first base position during a game from earlier in the season. Gover and the Lady Maroons got a tough draw, facing Garrard County in the first round of the Girl’s 12th Regional Softball Tournament.
Photo by David Rogers

By DOUG EADS

The Girl’s 12th Regional Softball Tournament will get underway on Sunday afternoon from East Jessamine High School, and both the Southwestern Lady Warriors and Pulaski County Lady Maroons have tough paths to a possible regional crown.

The tournament gets underway from East Jessamine High School on Sunday afternoon with Southwestern — 22-9 on the season — facing off against West Jessamine beginning at 2 p.m.

In Sunday’s second game at 4 p.m., the Pulaski County Lady Maroons — 24-6 on the year and the owner of the third best record in the 12th Region this season — have to go up against a team in Garrard County that swept Brad Gover’s club in both meetings between the two clubs late in the year.



In Sunday’s third first round game at 6 p.m., it will be Rockcastle County squaring off against Boyle County, while homestanding East Jessamine will face McCreary Central in Sunday’s nightcap at 8 p.m.

The semi finals of the tournament will take place on Monday evening at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., with the championship game slated for Tuesday night at 7 p.m.



12th Regional Baseball Tourney bracket is set

Southwestern head baseball coach Alex Eaton looks at his defensive positioning from the dugout during a game earlier this season. On Saturday in the first round of the 12th Regional Baseball Tournament, Eaton and the Warriors will face Boyle County on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.
Photo by David Rogers

By DOUG EADS

The pairings for the upcoming 12th Regional Baseball Tournament are now set, as the tourney gets set to kick off this weekend at Southwestern High School.

There will be four first round games taking place at Southwestern beginning on Saturday morning, with a solid favorite — Danville — taking on Rockcastle County at 10:30 a.m.

The Admirals own the 12th Region’s best record coming into the tourney at 32-6 on the season, and will be facing a Rockcastle County team that fell to Somerset in the 47th District championship game earlier this week by a final score of 14-1.



In Saturday’s second opening round game at 1:30 p.m., the Mercer County Titans will square off against the Wayne County Cardinals.

The homestanding Warriors will then take the field playing in game three in round one, facing off against Boyle County on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

Alex Eaton’s club owns the 12th Region’s second best record coming into the tournament, with a 24-4 record on the year.

Saturday’s nightcap will pit the newly crowned champions of the 47th District — the Somerset Briar Jumpers — facing off against West Jessamine at 8 p.m.

The semi finals will take place on Sunday afternoon at Southwestern High School, with games slated for 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The championship game of the tourney is set to be played on Monday afternoon at 3 p.m.



Somerset busts ‘The Rock’, brings home 47th District title

Somerset’s Kade Grundy fires home a pitch in a game earlier this season. On Tuesday night at PC Field, Grundy went 3-3 at the plate with a double and a homerun, driving in three runs helping the Briar Jumpers to a 47th District Tournament title with a 14-1 win over Rockcastle County.
Photo by David Rogers

By DOUG EADS

In their two previous meetings this season, Rockcastle County had simply owned Somerset, outscoring the Briar Jumpers 20-6 in those two meetings.

However on Tuesday night in round three for the 47th District Baseball Tournament championship at Pulaski County High School, the above fact meant absolutely nothing.

And Phil Grundy’s club certainly played like it.



Somerset banged out 11 hits in the win, took advantage of seven Rockcastle County errors, and got a solid effort on the mound from Dylan Burton, who pitched 5 1/3 innings to get the win.

Kade Grundy went a perfect 3-3 at the plate with a double and a homerun, while driving in three runs, Chance Stayton doubled twice, and Pancho Zaragoza doubled and singled in a pair of runs, as Somerset rolled to a 14-1 beatdown over The Rock in a game when it mattered the most.

Yes, you can call the Briar Jumpers district champs for this year.

“During the regular season, we had Danville in the All A the week we played Rock, so that kind of put us in a little bit of a bad position with our pitching,” stated a very happy coach Grundy after Tuesday night’s contest.

“We’ve got four terrific pitchers right now, and we’ve got three or four more that are really close,” continued the Somerset head coach. “We threw four pitchers this week in the district tournament, and all four of them are sophomores. If we score runs, we’re fun to watch and fun to coach.”

Well, coach Grundy for one had to be having fun on Tuesday night in the district title game against the Rockets.

His son — Kade Grundy — ignited Somerset from the get-go, and it was all Briar Jumpers in this one almost from the outset.

Grundy greeted Rockcastle County starter and loser Hunter Spivey with a leadoff single in the top half of the first inning, and he would score run number one of the night thanks to a single off the bat of Gavin Stephens for a 1-0 Somerset lead.



In the top of the second, a double from Grundy would drive in a pair of runs for a 3-1 Somerset lead, and The Rock would get no closer.

Somerset blew this one open with a five-spot in the fifth inning, taking advantage of three Rockcastle County errors, for a 10-1 lead at that juncture.

The inning before, it was Grundy who had padded the lead to 5-1 thanks to a two-run blast to right field off of Spivey.

Meanwhile, Dylan Burton was getting the job done on the mound for Somerset.

Burton allowed six hits in his 5 1/3 innings of work on the mound, but he kept Rock off of the scoreboard with eight strikeouts, allowing the Rockets only the one run in the bottom of the first inning.

“It’s a big deal for us to win the district,” pointed out Grundy.

“It had been a couple of years since we had won it, and I was starting to think that maybe we weren’t doing the right things, but this tells me the future is bright for this group, and hopefully we’ll go on to the regional tourney and compete for a title.”

With the win, Somerset moved to 19-12 on the season, while Rockcastle County fell to 21-12 with the loss.



Both teams will advance to the 12th Regional Baseball Tournament which will get underway on Saturday afternoon at Southwestern High School.

Check out The Doug Out on Friday, for the complete bracket with times, matchups, etc.



The Doug Out Sports Podcast is off and rolling

By DOUG EADS

I am very excited to announce that last week, with the help of iHeartMedia, I launched The Doug Out Sports Podcast.

I am very excited to begin this new project, as I am hopeful to bring you some exciting interviews and insights from coaches and players from all across the state of Kentucky and beyond.

I would like to thank Pulaski County head football coach Johnny Hines, Campbellsville-Somerset head basketball coach Al Gover, and Southwestern head football coach Jason Foley for already appearing on episodes with me.



Future guests that I can announce at this time is former WLEX-TV sportscaster Alan Cutler, as well as former UK All-American and a current member of the Dallas Cowboys Randall Cobb.

There will be more, much more to come in the upcoming weeks. From high school to college to the pros, I will have guests on each week trying to keep you informed on what is going on in the world of sports.

To check out my new podcast, all you have to do is go to Spreaker.com, and do a search for The Doug Out Sports Podcast. Hope you enjoy the shows and happy listening.

You can also find my podcast by going to my Facebook page and searching on my Timeline. Thanks for all the positive feedback I have received up to date on this new venture.



Strunk throws perfect game; PC rolls over Casey County

Pulaski County third baseman Bella Ellis is seen here swinging at a pitch during a game earlier in the season. In today’s opening round of the Girl’s 47th District Softball Tournament, Ellis singled and doubled — going 2-2 at the plate — as the Lady Maroons rolled over Casey County in a three-inning affair by a final score of 15-0.
Photo by David Rogers

By DOUG EADS

Pulaski County’s march to a possible district and regional title could have hardly began in better fashion earlier this afternoon in the opening round of the Girl’s 47th District Softball Tournament.

Brad Gover’s club banged out 11 hits, took advantage of five Casey County errors and seven walks, and for good measure, the Lady Maroons’ Kaylee Strunk threw a perfect game, striking out seven of the nine Lady Rebel hitters she faced.

As a result, the score was as ugly as the above numbers for Casey County sounded, as Pulaski County rolled to a 15-0 win over the Lady Rebels in a game shortened to only three innings due to the mercy rule.



PC put this one away early, banging out six hits, while scoring seven runs in the home half of the first inning off of the Lady Rebels starter and loser Haley Price.

Gover’s club sent 11 hitters to the plate in that decisive first inning, taking advantage of three Casey County errors, to grab an early 7-0 lead through one inning of play.

Those seven runs — heck, just the first run — was way more than enough support needed by Strunk on this day.

PC’s starting pitcher was unhittable — literally — as she retired all nine Casey County hitters she faced, including fanning seven of those nine hitters.

The Lady Maroons tacked out six more runs in the bottom of the second frame for a 13-0 cushion, as the wheels simply fell off for Casey County in the frame.

Price was knocked out of the game, and her relief was Jalie Buis, and she fared no better.

Buis in only 2/3 of an inning, walked five PC hitters — three of those coming with the bases loaded — helping the Lady Maroons to simply blow this game wide open.

The Lady Maroons put this one away in the bottom of the third inning off of another Casey County reliever — Shaylah Wilkie — as Strunk’s RBI singled brought home the final run, for a 15-0 PC victory in a game that was — well perfect.



With the win, Pulaski County improved to 24-5 on the season, and advanced to Sunday’s championship game of the tourney.

The Lady Maroons will face the winner of Saturday’s second first round game, which featured the Somerset Lady Jumpers squaring off against Rockcastle County.

The 47th District Softball Tournament finals will take place at PC Field on Sunday afternoon beginning at 6 p.m.



Lady Maroons top Southwestern for second time this season, 7-3

By DOUG EADS

For the second time this season, the Pulaski County Lady Maroons topped Southwestern on the softball field, winning Monday night’s contest by a final score of 7-3 at The War Path.

Catcher Riley Hull went a perfect, 4-4 at the plate to lead Pulaski County in the win, with a double and a triple, while driving in a pair of runs.

Dawn Wilson also added a pair of hits for PC and drove in two runs as well, and Bella Ellis also tallied two hits.



It was in no way a masterpiece for Pulaski County, but the Lady Maroons with the win were able to snap a three-game losing streak and got back to their winning ways, improving to 23-4 on the season by completing the season sweep over the Lady Warriors.

“Well, we didn’t start out the way I was wanting to, but we stayed the course and got the job done,” stated Lady Maroon head coach Brad Gover after the contest.

“Riley (Hull) came up big for us, going 4 for 4 at the plate, and we hit balls where they needed to be hit,” added Gover. “Kaylee Strunk pitched a really good game, and our defense played really well.”

Strunk picked up the win for Pulaski County, going seven innings on the mound allowing Southwestern five hits, while fanning three hitters and walking two.

Last night, PC returned home to the friendly confines of PC Field and dropped an 11-7 decision to Garrard County.

Vicky Countryman, Gabbie Countryman, Ellis, and Holly Barron led the PC hitting attack in the loss, as that quartet all tallied two hits against the Lady Lions.

Barron hit a homerun and drove in two runs, Gabbie Countryman tallied two RBI’s, and Hull also had added two RBI’s.

On the mound, Vicky Countryman took the loss for PC, going seven innings on the mound, allowing Garrard County 13 hits over those seven innings, but only two of the Lady Lions runs scored were earned.



Pulaski County — now 23-5 on the season — will return to action Saturday afternoon at PC Field, taking on Casey County in the opening round of the Girl’s 47th District Softball Tournament.

Saturday’s second game on Saturday afternoon will pit the Somerset Lady Jumpers against Rockcastle County.

The two winners will play in the 47th District title game on Sunday afternoon at PC Field at 2:30  p.m.