The District 13 tournament was postponed due to the rain on Monday afternoon. With the down pour the field was water logged and Kelly Russell field had to wait one more day to host the District 13 tournament. On Tuesday though, with the sun brighter than ever the tournament kicked off without a hitch.
The number one seeded and undefeated in the district Logan County Cougars took on the Todd County Rebels in the first game. The night cap saw the number two seeded and peaking Franklin-Simpson Wildcats taking on the host school in the Russellville Panthers.
The Logan County Cougars would easily cruise to a 10-1 victory over Todd County in the first game and earned themselves a spot in the district title game.
“I thought our focus wasn’t really good, it looked like we have been off for a while, which we had been,” LCHS head coach Ethan Meguiar said.
In the night cap the Russellville Panthers would stake claim a 2-0 lead and stubbornly refused to yield as they knocked off Franklin-Simpson for a shot at Logan County in the district title game.
“It was a great feeling, now this team will get to go play in the region tournament at western and that’s what we’re shooting for,” RHS head coach Lou Kendall said.
In the game with Logan County and Todd County, Logan County was a little slow coming out of the blocks. After one inning of play it was 1-0 Rebels.
But after that it was all Logan County and all Dustin Nash from the second inning on.
“It’s just hard to get up for a game like that, gave up a quick run and probably gave them some momentum but Nash did a really good job for us,” coach Meguiar said. “That was ten wins for him, I don’t think I’ve ever had a pitcher have 10 wins, so I think that broke the school record.”
The Cougars offense came in spurts as they leaped and bounded away from the Rebels. Slowly but surely the game got out of the reach for the Rebels who couldn’t get anything going offensively and couldn’t stop the Cougars. But it wasn’t as dominating of a performance as most were expecting.
“Hopefully we can tune things up for tomorrow night,” coach Meguiar said.
But ultimately the game was well in hand as the Cougars cruised to a 10-1 victory.
“Punch the ticket and we’re in the region, the pressure game is off and we’re just going to sit around and watch this one and we’ll see what happens,” coach Meguiar said. “I don’t know who’s going to win this one, this is going to be a good one.”
In the second game the Panthers squared off against the Wildcats and in the two previous games the games were about as thrilling as they could be.
This game was going to be no different.
After two scoreless innings Caleb Wills launched a home run over the left field wall to get the Panthers onto the board first.
“Caleb Wills in the third or fourth innings when he hit that one out, hey we hadn’t come close to scoring and we needed it, we needed it bad,” coach Kendall said.
After that the Panthers would tack on another run to make it 2-0 and then handed the ball over to Corey Wright.
“Corey had command of his pitches, he hit his spots, there was a couple balls that was over the plate early and they hit them hard but after that they didn’t get the kind of cuts they have been getting us in the first two games,” coach Kendall said.
Wright would pitch a complete game shut out en route to the 2-0 victory that punched their tickets to the region tournament and the district title game.
“I’m glad we’re fixing the field tomorrow so we can play on it, it’s not fun fixing it when your not even dressed in your uniform,” coach Kendall said. “You want to go as district champs to play a runner up but I’m not worried about that right we can talk about that after tomorrow.”
In the championship game the old rivals met for the third time this season. Both times the Cougars dispatched the Panthers and Russellville was looking to channel their basketball team’s good fortune and knock off Logan County in the title game.
But the Cougars and Thomas Miller would prove to much as the Cougars took home the District 13 title in back to back years with a 5-0 victory.
“We did everything we wanted to do today,” coach Meguiar said. “Thomas did a good job of pitching and we tried to score early in the game and we were able to do that. We played exceptional defense, we only allowed that one hit.”
The Panthers normal explosive offense was held in check and was set down in order for five perfect innings by LCHS’ Miller.
“He was a really good pitcher and he shut us down, so you got to tip your hat to them,” coach Kendall said.”We’re talking about one of the top two or three teams in the region, they would have beat a lot of teams in this region today.”
The Cougars offense was supplied with two quick runs before Gage Hales unloaded on one that cleared the left field fence that drove in three runs to take a commanding 5-0 lead. After that, Miller completed the shut out with his only blemish being a perfectly executed bunt in the sixth inning.
With the victory the Cougars will take a district title with them as they go off to the Region 4 tournament next week.
“Just got to go back now see who else won and see what the future holds for us,” coach Meguiar said. “There is not a team up there that I don’t think we can play with.”
The official draw will be Saturday morning, but the Cougars could be facing the loser of District 16th champion game, Allen County-Scottsville, or Bowling Green.
With the loss the Panthers will still go off to the Region 4 tournament but will have the more difficult task of taking on a district champion in the first round.
“It’ll be a good team and they’ll have a good pitcher, but if they over look the smallest team in the region we’ll get them,” coach Kendall said.
Their pool of schools they could draw is the District 16 champion, South Warren, or Glasgow.
The prospects of another ‘Clash of the Cats’ game is there. Both teams will have to win their first round games and their semi finals game. If they both do that, then the heated rivals will meet for a chance to go to the state tournament.
“I’d love the opportunity to see them in the finals of the region,” coach Kendall said about the prospects of seeing the Cougars one more time this season.