In June 2 Issue
For the 10th time in 11 seasons, Coach David Rexroat's Russell County Laker baseball team captured the district title after they defeated Cumberland County 6-0 in the 16th district final last Wednesday at the Burkesville City Park.
The Lakers, 22-8 on the season, will now travel to Western Kentucky University this week for the 4th Region high school baseball tournament.
"It feels pretty good," Rexroat said following the victory Wednesday. "We drug along there and scored two or three runs but finally opened it up there at the end to get a good, comfortable lead."
"I'm very proud of our pitching, only allowing one hit tonight," Rexroat said. "The defense also played pretty solid so I'm very pleased with the team on that effort. You've got to give their pitcher some credit because he kept us off stride; we just had to find a way to manufacture a few runs."
Rexroat said as the season progressed he could see his ball club bond and grow even closer despite a 10-day stretch where they didn't play their best baseball and had some disheartening losses.
"They fought through it with our help and they're playing some good baseball right now," he said. "They've just got to keep their head on straight and make plays."
Rexroat spoke highly of his seniors, Martin Cross, Taylor Hutchison, Jared Coffey and Alex Selby and the leadership they showed throughout the season and in the district tournament.
Cross is a three-year starter at third base, Hutchison an exceptional athlete that can play multiple positions, Coffey a left-handed slugging first baseman and Selby, a utility man whose personality binds the team like glue and who also went 3-3 during the team's senior night game last week.
As mentioned earlier the focus now switches to regional play, where no doubt the Lakers will have a bullseye on their back after winning region in 2009 and being runner-up last season.
"It is going to be tough," Rexroat said of the road to win in region. "It'll be whoever can come up with those timely hits."
He did not take any of his success as a coach personally, saying he only is carrying on a tradition that he is lucky enough to be a part of.
"It is not me or any assistant coach or these players," he said. "It takes a total team effort."
Making the all-district team for Russell County was Blake Aaron, Hunter Best, Tyler Robertson, Jared Coffey and Taylor Hutchison.
On Monday the Lakers traveled to Western Kentucky University where they faced Franklin Simpson in the opening round of the 4th region tournament at Nick Denes Field. The Laker bats were again hot as they tallied nine runs en route to a 9-0 victory over the Wildcats. Laker pitchers Tyler Robertson and Caleb Russell combined for the 2-hit shutout.
Russell County now faces Bowling Green, who on Monday defeated Allen County-Scottsville 11-2, on Tuesday night at WKU in the regional semifinal in a game which ends too late for this edition.