Newcomers lead South Warren over Allen County-Scottsville
South Warren head coach Chris Gage finally got the chance to do something that he has been waiting to do for weeks in Friday night’s game against Allen County-Scottsville at WKU: experiment.
After two straight district series with Warren Central and Bowling Green, Gage brought a fresh lineup to Nick Denes Field in hopes of getting some younger players experience at the varsity level.
“When you’ve been in district play, you kind of get stuck with the kids that have been playing,” said Gage. “These other kids have been working really hard and we’re going to need them.”
One factor that Gage says has kept his experiment locked in the shop has been the abundant amount of rain that the 4th Region has battled all season.
“It’s been hard with all of the rain we have had this year,” Gage stated. “We play two or three games and then we’re suddenly in our district series. When that happens, you don’t have a lot of time to experiment.”
Not only did Gage get the chance to put his experiment into place on Friday night, it worked.
Caleb Lloyd and Adam Smiley each had three hits to make up half of the Spartans’ 12. on the evening after seeing ample playing time in substitute roles all season,
“We just had to go out there and ignore the weather,” said Lloyd. “At the end of the day we just need to play our brand of baseball, rain or shine.”
The Patriots (11-14) quickly struck first to grab a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when a single by Sheldon Peay brought in Tristen Brooks from second base.
South Warren quickly responded in the bottom of the inning when hits by Zack Beckner, Matthew Mitchell, and Smiley blew open a 4-1 lead.
The Spartans (14-13) added one run apiece in the bottom of the second, third, and fourth innings.
ACS picked up another run in the top of the fifth inning when Marcus Carter’s third strike got past the catcher to bring in Zack Sowers.
The Patriots scored two more runs in the top of the seventh inning as hits by Colby Lafitte and Carter cut the Spartan lead to 7-4.
With the first evening out of the way, the Spartans now turn their attention to their Saturday morning date with eighth-ranked Pleasure Ridge Park.
“I hope our kids can rise to the occasion,” said Gage. “They’re definitely one of the richest teams historically in Kentucky high school baseball.”
PRP is 22-3 on the season and is ranked number eight in the Maxpreps polls.
First pitch for that contest is set for 9:30 a.m. at Nick Denes Field at Western Kentucky University. The Spartans will meet with Sayre at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon to wrap up the South Warren Invitational.
—Follow prep sports insider Clay Manlove on Twitter: @ctmanlove58–