EASTERN — Continuing its postseason run, perennial championship contender Johnson Central pulled away to beat Belfry 7-2 in the semifinals of the 15th Region Baseball Tournament at Floyd Central High School on Monday.
With the win, Johnson Central upped its record to 32-5 and advanced to the 15th Region Baseball Tournament title game.
Belfry ended its season 20-10 with the loss.
Johnson Central freshman pitcher Conner Lemaster worked four and two-thirds innings on the mound and picked up the pitching win. Lemaster recorded four strikeouts.
Seniors Blake DeLong and Grant Davis worked out of relief pitching roles for the Golden Eagles.
Belfry junior pitcher Kaleb Taylor, the Pirates’ starter, suffered the pitching loss.
Helping his pitching cause at the plate, Lemaster went two for two with one RBI. His teammate, catcher Chayce Meade, finished two for four.
DeLong, Davis, Hunter McCloud, Ryley Preece and Cody Rice added one hit apiece for the Golden Eagles in the postseason victory. McCloud, the cleanup hitter in the Johnson Central batting order, drove in two of the Golden Eagles’ seven runs.
Johnson Central was facing former 57th District rival Lawrence County in the 15th Region Baseball Tournament title game on Tuesday. Earlier in the evening on Monday, Lawrence County held on to defeat Pikeville 6-4.
Results from the 15th Region title game were unavailable at press time.
Shelby Valley 3
After finishing runner-up in the 60th District, Belfry passed a postseason test over the weekend, knocking off Pike County rival Shelby Valley 11-3 in the opening round of the 15th Region Baseball Tournament at Floyd Central High School on Saturday.
The victory, its 20th in the 2019 high school baseball season, allowed Belfry to advance to the semifinals of the 15th Region Baseball Tournament.
With the win, Belfry improved to 20-9
Shelby Valley ended its season 16-16 with the loss.
Belfry scored first and never trailed. The Pirates led 5-0 before Shelby Valley plated its first run in the bottom half of the fifth inning.
Belfry pitcher Wyatt Webb claimed the victory on the mound. Webb allowed five hits and three runs over four and two-thirds innings, striking out two as he claimed the pitching win. Another Belfry player, Avery Browning, pitched two and a third innings in relief.
Shelby Valley pitcher Hunter Mullins suffered the loss. Working out of a starting role, Mullins pitched three and a third innings, allowing five runs on three hits and striking out three.
Belfry outhit Shelby Valley 13-7. Brett Coleman, Austin Fields, Adam Rahe and Sean Cochran led Belfry’s offensive attack, delivering two hits apiece in the Pirates’ winning effort.
Belfry turned in a solid all-around performance. The Pirates fared well defensively, committing only one error.
Samuel Brown and Jeremiah Prater paced Shelby Valley at the plate, providing two hits apiece.
Shelby Valley, the champion out of the 59th District, committed four errors in the season-ending loss.
Belfry was set to face 57th District champion Johnson Central in the semifinals of the 15th Region Baseball Tournament at Floyd Central High School on Monday.