The Beechwood Tigers baseball team (19-2 overall) owns five All A State championships starting in 2006.
The Tigers have shown they are locked and loaded toward another one all season. They exploded for nine runs in the top of the third to beat the 16-7 Walton-Verona Bearcats, 16-2 in five innings.
Beechwood plays Danville (19-4) in the All A semifinals on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. back at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond. Danville knocked off Campbellsville, 17-6 in the final quarterfinal game. The championship game is at 1 p.m.
Senior Sam Cottengim (3-0) threw a complete game for the Tigers. He struck out three, walked none and allowed seven hits. Cottengim also went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double and two RBI.
“(Tough competition) got me facing good batters,” Cottengim said. “When a team can score 16 runs, it takes a lot of stress off a pitcher. You just throw how you want to throw.”
That leaves plenty of options in terms of pitching for the Tigers. Berger and junior Sam Stacy are available.
“We definitely have confidence in Sam (Cottengim),” said Kevin Gray, Beechwood Head Coach. “He threw strikes. The defense played well behind him. We have everybody left.”
Both teams made two errors. Both Bearcat runs were unearned. It did not help Walton-Verona’s cause that the fielders lost some balls in the scorching sun.
Beechwood batted an astounding .500 (15 for 30) in the win with 10 extra-base hits. Junior catcher Brice Estep went 3 for 3 belting a three-run home run to left to put the Tigers up 12-0 in the top of third putting the finishing touches on a nine-run explosion for Beechwood. Estep added a double at Turkey Hughes Field where he will be playing college baseball for the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels in a few years.
“It was awesome to hit a home run here,” Estep said. “Even when (opponents pitch around a Beechwood hitter), I always seem to find a fastball. It’s crazy how they still throw them. But I’ll take them.”
Six hitters had multi-hit games for Beechwood. Senior first baseman Tanner Jackson went 2 for 4 with a triple, RBI and scored twice. Junior center fielder Mitchell Berger went 2 for 4 with a double, two RBI and one run scored. Junior shortstop Ben Meier went 2 for 4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Junior designated hitter Landon Johnson went 2 for 3 with four RBI, one double and one run scored. Senior Brett Holladay had a double and two RBI. Senior third baseman Jackson Roseburrough added a double and scored twice.
“We’ve been swinging it well the last week and a half,” Gray said. “It just carried over. We really started off well. We told our guys to put your sunglasses on and use them. But if the ball is directly up in the sun, there’s nothing you can do about it. But luckily for us, they weren’t directly in the sun.”
Walton-Verona started sophomore Mason Howard (3-3) after he had success containing the dynamite Beechwood offense in a 4-3 loss in Fort Mitchell a week ago. But the Tigers chased him out in the third inning.
Holladay singled with two out in the top of the first for Beechwood. Berger then doubled in sophomore pinch runner Shawn Sowder to put the Tigers up 1-0. Sowder scored twice for the Tigers.
Beechwood then added two in the top of the second. Johnson worked the count on Howard then singled to score Roseburrough and freshman pinch runner Chase Flaherty to give Beechwood a 3-0 advantage. Flaherty wound up scoring three times running for Cottengim.
“Not many catchers are as talented as Brice Estep so it helps in practice facing him running the bases,” Flaherty said. “Our coaches really do a good job. If you are not aware of your surroundings, that’s when you can get in trouble.”
Walton-Verona did get one back in the bottom of the second. Sophomore left fielder Julian Dixon singled before Bryce Corpus reached on an error moving Dixon to second. With two out, senior shortstop Nick Allen singled in Dixon.
“I like the way our guys fought,” said Clint Coleman, Walton-Verona Head Coach. “I never really felt like we gave up or were just done and rolled over. That was just a good example of when you give a good team extra outs, they’ll take advantage of it. We made some miscues in the field, which just made it more difficult for our pitchers. They just put it away.”
Allen went 2 for 3 with an RBI for the Bearcats. Junior first baseman Lance Coleman went 2 for 2 with a double.
Walton-Verona finished runner-up in the All A State Tournament last year. The Bearcats play host to Conner (22-4) on Monday at 5 p.m.
Conner 6, Newport Central Catholic 1:
The Cougars (22-4) gradually pulled away from the Thoroughbreds in the Bryan Stevenson Memorial Tournament.
Junior Ayden Lohr (5-0) pitched a complete game for Conner. He struck out four, walked none and allowed just one earned run and seven hits.
NewCath had three errors to two for Conner. The Cougars scored one unearned run.
“It’s that time of the year where every team is dealing with Prom. We’re getting close to graduation,” said Brad Arlinghaus, Conner Head Coach. “Our guys in focused. They gave me two hours. That’s all I asked of them. We did well in all three phases of the game.”
Conner batted .357 (10 for 28) in the win. Senior shortstop Gage Testerman went 3 for 4 with two doubles and a run scored to lead the Cougars. Junior right fielder Jackson Bucks went 2 for 3 with two runs scored.
“We just hit the ball where we were supposed to,” Bucks said. “We knew coming out we were going to face more off-speed. We just had to adjust. That’s what we did.”
Senior first baseman Luke Brockman led NewCath going 2 for 3. Senior Luke Wiles had a double.
Conner travels to Walton-Verona for a 5 p.m. game Monday.
Dixie Heights 13, Cooper 3 (3 innings):
The Colonels (15-7) trailed the Jaguars, 3-1 after two innings. But they exploded for eight in the bottom of the third and never looked back. They scored three in the bottom of the fifth to end the game.
Junior Brayden Runion (4-1) threw a complete game to earn the win for Dixie Heights. He struck out five, walked one and allowed just two earned runs and five hits.
“The off-speed was there. Everything I did in the bullpen showed off in the game,” Runion said. “I try to get it as close to perfect as I can in the bullpen so there’s not too many times you can (mess it up) in the game.”
Dixie Heights had three errors to two for Cooper. Both teams scored one unearned run.
Dixie Heights batted .481 (13 for 27) overall. Senior shortstop Jay Flynn went 4 for 4 with two RBI and three runs scored to lead the way. Senior third baseman Logan Wilson went 2 for 4 with a double, four RBI and two run scored. Senior center fielder Brandon Brooks had a double and three RBI.
“We timed some hits together,” said Chris Maxwell, Dixie Heights Head Coach. “We started off a little slow after playing two (Friday) night, getting home late then coming back for a morning game. Jay Flynn got us going.”
Senior center fielder Cameron Kuehn and sophomore shortstop Mark Nowak had doubles to lead the Jaguars. Senior Justin Delph started the game taking the loss and junior James Crowe finished it.
Dixie Heights travels to Villa Madonna (11-13) on Monday for a 5:30 p.m. 34th District game.
Simon Kenton 10, Campbell County 0 (5 innings):
The Pioneers (13-8) run-ruled the Camels (14-9) for their third straight win and second over Campbell County in Independence this season. The game was part of the Bryan Stevenson Memorial Tournament.
“(Campbell County) is a well-coached, very talented good team,” said Troy Roberts, Simon Kenton Head Coach. “Ethan Breadon threw a lot of strikes. We played good defense behind him. We really had good at-bats. They did a good job getting pitches to hit and delivering.”
Simon Kenton senior Ethan Breadon pitched a complete game to earn the win. He struck out seven, walked two and allowed just two hits.
“He did a very good job of mixing up his pitches,” Roberts said. “He located his fastball. He was throwing his slider for strikes and he found his change-up. If he has his change-up, he’s pretty tough to hit.”
The Pioneers batted .444 (12 for 27) overall. Senior center fielder Logan Grubenhoff went 3 for 4 with a double, two RBI and three runs scored to lead the way. Junior left fielder Ian Powell went 2 for 3 with a double, three RBI and one run scored. Senior catcher Tom Lind went 2 for 3 with a double and RBI. Senior second baseman Hunter Parks went 2 for 4 with a double, three RBI and one run scored. Senior shortstop Riley Cross scored twice.
Sophomore Chris Bramley (2-1) started for Campbell County. He pitched three innings striking out two and allowed four hits and two earned runs. Junior Braden Kramer finished the game striking out one. Neither walked a batter.
Simon Kenton plays host to Ryle (10-11) on Monday at 5 p.m. Campbell County plays host to St. Henry (13-8-1) on Monday at the same time.
Campbell County 11, Newport Central Catholic 1 (6 innings):
The Camels downed the Thoroughbreds (12-9) in their first game in the Bryan Stevenson Memorial Tournament.
Freshman Zach Franzen (4-0) pitched a complete game for Campbell County. Franzen struck out three, walked two and allowed just six hits and one unearned run.
Campbell County batted .391 (9 for 23) in the win. Senior second baseman Tyler Fowler went 2 for 2 with one RBI and three runs scored with senior Zack Riley going 2 for 3 with an RBI and run scored. Senior left fielder Caeleb James went 2 for 4 with one RBI and one run scored. Junior shortstop Jake Gross, junior right fielder Brayden Wells and senior center fielder Greg Vineyard had two RBI each.
The Camels stole 10 bases in the game. Fowler and Vineyard stole three each with junior Evan Clark stealing two.
Senior Joel Iles took the loss for NewCath. Junior Luke Runyon led the Thoroughbreds at the plate going 2 for 2.
NewCath travels to Cincinnati (Ohio) Seven Hills on Monday. Game time is 5 p.m.
Highlands Wins Twice:
The Bluebirds (14-10) won two 9th Region games within a matter of hours.
They knocked off the Ryle Raiders (10-11) to start the day. Senior Connor Schwalbach (3-2) pitched the first three innings picking up the win. He struck out two, walked four and allowed just one hit. Senior Abe Hils pitched the next two innings striking out four, walking one and allowing no hits before junior Jack Hendrix finished the game striking out three, walking one and allowing just two hits.
“(Ryle Head Coach) Joe Aylor and I talked and we both feel we’re very similar,” said Jeremy Baioni, Highlands Head Coach. “We both feel like we can compete with anyone in the region. We just need to start playing like it more consistently. The key for us is we played two games and didn’t have any errors.”
Highlands batted .185 (5 for 27) in the game. Junior JP Donelan went 2 for 4 with a double and three RBI. Junior Ryan DeBurger scored twice.
Junior TJ Schira (2-3) took the loss pitching four innings striking out eight, walking three and allowing four hits and four earned wins. Sophomore Caleb Mann pitched the last three innings striking out six, walking and allowing one hit and one unearned run.
Highlands then won 10-1 over the Holy Cross Indians (8-17) at Highland Park. DeBurger (3-1) earned the win pitching five innings striking out two, walking none and allowing just three hits and one unearned run. Junior Elijah Hale pitched the last two innings striking out two and walking one.
Highlands batted .413 (12 for 29) overall with four players recording multi-hit games. Senior Cam McAtee went 2 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Senior third baseman Drew Hack went 2 for 2 with a double, one RBI and one run scored. Senior first baseman Ryne Wiseman went 2 for 4 with two RBI and one run scored. Senior left fielder Jackson Higgason went 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored.
“It’s a good thing we were able to go 2-0,” Higgason said. “Ryle’s a really good team. Ryle’s definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with in the region tournament. To go and beat them at their place is definitely a big thing for us morale-wise and (is a) confidence booster.”
Highlands travels to Cooper (7-15) on Tuesday at 5 p.m. Ryle travels to Simon Kenton (13-8) on Monday at 5 p.m. and travels to Scott (6-18) on Tuesday for a 5 p.m. game.
St. Henry Earns Two Victories:
The Crusaders (13-8-1) earned two wins in the Bryan Stevenson Memorial Tournament to break a five-game losing streak.
“We definitely got back on track. We were reeling with injuries. We didn’t play up to our standard,” said Greg Pass, St. Henry Head Coach. “We did have everyone back in the line-up so it was nice to see those old faces back in the line-up. It was a good team day. Guys came in and ran the bases well.”
St. Henry downed Cooper (7-16), 8-5 in the first game. Cooper had the one error between the two teams.
Junior Luke Keipert (2-1) earned the win pitching a complete game striking out six, walking none and allowing five earned runs. He went 3 for 4 at the plate with two RBI and one run scored.
St. Henry batted .433 (13 for 30) in the win. Senior catcher Carter Scheben went 3 for 4 with two doubles, an RBI and run scored to lead the Crusaders. Junior first baseman Nick Browning went 2 for 3 with one run scored. Junior center fielder Matt Resing went 2 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Senior right fielder Eli Meiman went 2 for 4 with one RBI and one run scored. Senior Matthew Miller had a double and two RBI.
Cooper batted .333 (10 for 30) in the loss. Sophomore Mark Nowak went 3 for 4 with a double, RBI and run scored. Junior Chase Gartner went 3 for 4 with two RBI and one run scored with senior Corbin Fletcher hitting a two-run home run.
St. Henry then knocked off Covington Catholic (13-10), 2-0. CovCath outhit St. Henry, 5-4. Senior left fielder Owen Eilerman went 2 for 3 with an RBI to lead the Crusaders. Scheben had a double.
Miller (2-0) pitched a complete game earning the win. He struck out seven and walked one.
Sophomore Bradley Zekl (0-4) pitched a complete game. He struck out seven, walked none and allowed two earned runs. CovCath had the game’s lone error.
“Anytime you go against (CovCath Head Coach Bill Krumpelbeck), it’s going to be a well-coached team that’s going to play hard,” Pass said. “You can’t make mistakes and we didn’t make any errors in the game. I think our defense helped us. They bunted a few times. But we preach in practice, ‘Just get the easy out and don’t turn a one-run inning into a multiple-run inning by trying to do too much.”
St. Henry travels to Campbell County (14-9) on Monday. Game time is 5 p.m. Cooper and CovCath play each other Monday in Union at 5 p.m.
Boone County 6, Lloyd Memorial 0:
The Rebels (7-13) downed the Juggernauts (9-14) to win their second in three games.
Senior Issac Vest (2-2) pitched five innings to earn the win. He struck out 10, walked four and allowed just four hits. Senior Justin Huff pitched the last two innings striking out three, walking one and allowing no hits.
“I had pitched in a few weeks because of an arm injury,” Justin Huff said. “It felt good to get back out there and get into a rhythm.”
Boone County batted .304 (7 for 23) overall. Vest went 2 for 3 with a three-run home run, four RBI and one run scored. Senior Jason Williams went 3 for 3 with one RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore third baseman Chris Henson added a double.
“We played well. We had some good two-out hits,” said Wayne Huff, Boone County Head Coach. “Issac pitched very well. Defense was pretty solid. We played good enough to keep them in the game. Lloyd did not play bad. Their pitcher threw strikes. Once we hit the three-run home run, it was a matter of staying in front of them.”
Eighth grader Grayson Begnoche went 2 for 4 to lead Lloyd Memorial. Sophomore Kadin Wright added a double and walked twice.
Boone County plays host to Ludlow (10-14) on Monday at 4:30 p.m. Lloyd Memorial travels to Dixie Heights (15-7) on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Covington Catholic 8, Henry Clay 4:
The Colonels earned won their first game of the day over the Blue Devils (13-10).
Senior Will Burke (5-0) pitched the first five innings striking out eight, walking two and allowing five hits and one earned run. Junior Chris Young pitched the last two innings allowing just two hits. The Colonels allowed three unearned runs off three errors and scored one off the two Blue Devil errors.
CovCath batted .320 (8 for 25) overall. Senior left fielder Evan Myers went 3 for 3 with a double, triple and two RBI. Burke went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Junior catcher Jonathan Fitz hit a two-run home run for his second of the season in the bottom of the second. Fitz had three RBI.
CovCath travels to Cooper (7-16) on Monday. Game time is 5 p.m.
Henry Clay 18, Scott 3 (6 innings):
The Eagles (6-18) trailed the Blue Devils just 3-2 entering the top of the fourth. But the Blue Devils scored four times in the next two innings before scoring seven in the top of the sixth.
Scott committed two errors leading to three Henry Clay errors. The Blue Devils had no errors.
Henry Clay outhit Scott, 12-7. Sophomore shortstop Dylan Giffen led the Eagles going 2 for 2 with two runs scored. Junior center fielder Casey Hilbert went 2 for 3 with a double and RBI. Senior first baseman Logan Wiehoff and junior second baseman Leo Brown added doubles.
Sophomore Porter Huston (1-1) took the loss for Scott. The Eagles used five pitchers in the loss.
Scott travels to Bishop Brossart (13-10-1) on Monday in crucial 37th District seed game at 5:30 p.m.
Cooper Knocks off Elizabethtown Winning Twice:
The Lady Jaguars (18-4) ventured to Elizabethtown and earned two more wins to increase their winning streak to nine in a row. That includes another win over a team ranked in the top 20 in the latest Kentucky Softball Coaches Association poll in a 3-1 win over 19th-ranked Elizabethtown (19-5).
Cooper is ranked 30th in the poll. The Lady Jaguars are 2-1 against teams ranked in the top 20 of that poll. They’ve beaten 10th-ranked Oldham County and lost to 14th-ranked Madison Central.
Junior Kendall Blau (6-2) pitched a complete game striking out three, walking one, allowing just one earned run and scattering nine hits. Cooper had no errors and Elizabethtown had one.
“Blau threw amazing. I couldn’t ask for anything more out of (Blau),” said Gweny Wessling, Cooper senior catcher. “Both pitchers did amazing. Having three really, really good pitchers helps our team so much. It gives us a lot of confidence coming into games knowing that your pitcher is going to work for you so you have to work for them. It helps keep on building on how well we do.”
Cooper had just two hits in the win off Elizabethtown eighth grade pitcher Taytum Spiers. But the Lady Jaguars made the most of the doubles from Blau and junior first baseman Emily Schmeltz scoring all three runs in the top of the fifth.
“(Spiers) located it up and down, in and out real well,” said Rusty Scott, Cooper Head Coach. “She had a nice rise ball to go with it. She threw in the 60s. We really had to manufacture some runs.”
With one out, Schmeltz doubled to right and beat a throw to third on a fielder’s choice allowing eighth grade right fielder Ainsley Scroggie to reach. Scroggie then stole second and senior left fielder Amber Chaney laid down a bunt reaching on a fielder’s choice. Schmeltz scored and Scroggie moved to third tying the game at 1-1. Scroggie then scored on a wild pitch and Chaney scored on the same play to make the final score.
Cooper run-ruled the Pleasure Ridge Park Lady Panthers (4-8), 15-3 in five innings in the first game. Both teams committed five errors. Cooper had seven unearned runs and PRP scored all three unearned runs off the Lady Jaguar errors.
“We needed a game like that where the girls came in relaxed and just kept hitting, hitting and hitting,” Coach Scott said. “It did make it tougher coming into that Elizabethtown game because (Spiers) had some good stuff. She picked up the pace about 10 miles more per hour than what we’d seen the game before.”
Senior Hanna Hollis (3-1) earned the win pitching a complete game. She struck out five, walked none and allowed just three hits. Hollis went 2 for 4 with a home run, RBI and run scored at the plate.
Cooper batted .515 (17 for 33) overall with six players recording multi-hit games. Schmeltz went 2 for 2 with a double and run scored. Ava Scott went 3 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored and senior shortstop Dylan Scott went 3 for 4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.
Chaney went 2 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Wessling went 2 for 3 with one triple, one RBI and two runs scored for Cooper.
Cooper led 5-3 after the first inning. But the Lady Jaguars exploded for nine in the second inning to go up 14-3.
Cooper plays host to Highlands (13-10) on Monday. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
Scott 14, Beechwood 0:
The Lady Eagles (11-11) won the Bulldog Bash at Meinken Field scoring 11 runs in the top of the fifth to pull away from the Tigers (10-11).
It started on the mound with sophomore pitcher Emma Scribner (9-7) pitching another no-hitter. She struck out eight and walked four.
Scott had one error to five for Beechwood. The Lady Eagles scored four unearned runs.
“We had a non-traditional double play turned,” said Lisa Brewer, Scott Head Coach. “We had a couple fly balls that we had to get under. But other than that, we didn’t have to play too much defense because of Emma throwing the shutout. She didn’t have any wild pitches. Beechwood is a very well-coached team.”
Scott batted .481 (13 for 27) in the win. Sophomore second baseman Ivy Cochran went 2 for 2 with one RBI and three runs scored in the lead-off spot. Senior left fielder Morgan Chalk went 2 for 2 with two RBI and two runs scored. Senior third baseman Riley Reeves went 2 for 4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored and freshman catcher Emerson Morman went 2 for 4 with one double, one RBI and one run scored.
Scott received contributions up and down the line-up. Junior first baseman Kayla Overman had two RBI and junior shortstop Audrey Griffin scored twice. Junior Mesa McQueen had a pinch-hit two-run single and later scored on a Reeves double.
“I mostly think everyone did really well hitting,” McQueen said. “Everybody was waiting for her pitch. We timed them well. I ran as fast as I could (on the base paths). You never know what’s going to happen.”
Scott travels to Conner (8-6) on Monday. Game time is 6 p.m.
Collins 6, Simon Kenton 5:
The Lady Pioneers (11-8) lost a tight 8th Region home game against the Lady Titans (17-7). Simon Kenton is 2-3 against region competition.
Simon Kenton took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third. But Collins scored three times in the top of the fourth to go up 5-3 and the Lady Pioneers did not catch up after that.
Both teams had two errors. Collins had three unearned runs off the Simon Kenton errors and the Lady Pioneers had one.
Simon Kenton batted .344 (10 for 29) in the game. Senior left fielder Paige Heringer went 2 for 4 with a home run, three RBI and one run scored. Eighth grade first baseman Adreena Barton went 2 for 4 with a double. Senior shortstop Alexis Baker scored twice and sophomore catcher Emilie Young added a double.
Sophomore Landrey Dance (6-6) pitched a complete game for Simon Kenton. She struck out six, walked two and allowed three earned runs and six hits.
Simon Kenton plays host to Lewis County (23-3) on Monday. Game time is 6 p.m.
All A State Results:
Neither the Walton-Verona Bearcats (10-9) nor the Villa Madonna Vikings (9-6) made it out of pool play to the state quarterfinals. Walton-Verona finished 1-2 in pool play and Villa Madonna finished 0-3.
The lone win for the Bearcats came in the first game when they rallied down 6-2 for five runs in the bottom of the sixth to win 7-6. Senior Kenzie Farmer had a three-run double to put the Bearcats in the lead. She finished 2 for 4 with a double, three RBI and scored once.
Walton-Verona batted .467 (14 for 30) in the win. Senior third baseman Audrey Pollard went 2 for 3 with a double and RBI with sophomore pitcher Danielle Oldfield going 2 for 4. Eighth grade center fielder Emery Spillman went 2 for 3 with a run scored and eighth grade right fielder Jaylen Clark went 2 for 3. Sophomore first baseman Addison Svec had a double and scored twice.
But Owensboro Catholic run-ruled Walton-Verona, 15-1 in five innings then Russellville shut out the Bearcats, 10-0. Villa Madonna lost to Carlisle County (15-1), Knott County Central (8-1) and Lexington Christian (13-0 in five innings).
Walton-Verona plays host to Williamstown (2-7) on Monday at 5:30 p.m. Villa Madonna plays host to St. Henry (4-10) at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Other April 30 NKY Baseball Scores:
Holy Cross 10, Williamstown 4
Ludlow 5, Villa Madonna 3
Calvary Christian 10, Somerset Christian 3
Calvary Christian 15, Portland Christian 0 (5 innings)
Bourbon County 6, Bishop Brossart 2
Other April 30 NKY Softball Scores:
Beechwood 5, Holy Cross 0
Paris 18, Lloyd Memorial 3 (3 innings)
Gallatin County 9, Holmes 6 (6 innings)
Robertson County 14, Ludlow 6
Gallatin County 11, Calvary Christian 1 (5 innings)