Beware of an angry Davis Sims.
After fouling a ball off his left knee, the St. Mary shortstop lined a sixth-inning RBI double off the left field fence. The hit sparked a late Vikings outburst in an 8-0 win against Graves County in a first-round First Region tournament game Monday at Brooks Stadium.
"It made him mad," Vikings coach Matt Smith said, "and he sprayed one out."
The hit also gave the Vikings a three-run lead after scoring just twice against Eagles ace Justin Hayden, the KHSBCA First Region Player of the Year and a Rend Lake College signee. Nick Eggemeyer singled home Sims for a 4-0 lead to chase Hayden.
"He didn't have as good of stuff as I've seen him have," Eagles coach Kristian Elliott said. "We made a couple errors behind him. But all in all, he was good enough to win the game."
Things then fell apart for the Eagles. The Vikings (18-5) scored four times in the seventh to ice the game. Jon Darnell produced a two-run double that inning, and Eggemeyer added a run-scoring single. The Vikings' final run came on an Eagles throwing error.
The Vikings advance to play Calloway County at 5 p.m. in the First Region semifinals. Smith said he didn't know who he'll start.
Their game against Graves County featured two teams that combined for 25 First Region regular-season wins, six more than any other first-round matchup. It also pitted two of the First Region's top pitchers in Hayden and the University of Evansville-bound Eggemeyer.
Hayden, however, didn't look sharp early, while Eggemeyer threw five scoreless innings to win.
After Sims walked in the third and advanced to second on a Matthew Higgins sacrifice bunt, Darnell drove Sims home for a 1-0 lead. Darnell finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs.
Brian Johnson scored in the fourth on another Eagles throwing error for a 2-0 lead.
The loss ends Graves County's season. The Eagles went 24-8 after going 13-16 last year.
"I'm going to steal a quote from my friend Zach Hobbs," Elliott said. "We had a bad day to have a bad day. We made some mental errors out there. We didn't hit the balls. We didn't do a good job of taking advantage of some situations early, and they took advantage of theirs.
"I expected a little closer score. I think everybody would agree that 8-0 score is not indicative of the way the game was. That's a 4-0 game."
Anderson puts Calloway
in a good position
Calloway County accomplished its biggest goal Monday: advance with its pitching intact.
The Lakers beat Carlisle County 10-0 in five innings in their First Region first-round game at Brooks Stadium. They play St. Mary at 5 p.m. today in the semifinals.
While they plan to start Connor Wagner against St. Mary, the Lakers have their pitching set up well after starter Austin Anderson threw four shutout innings on less than 40 pitches on Monday.
The status of Lakers shortstop Dain Satterwhite is uncertain. Satterwhite missed Monday's game, and Hobbs said Satterwhite has been sick since Friday.
The Lakers (15-23) used an early offensive spurt - and some errors by the Comets (16-17) - to jump to a 3-0 first-inning lead. Wagner reached on an error, stole second and advanced to third on an Anderson single. He scored on a Lofton Pigg fielder's choice for the 1-0 lead.
Caleb Brannon added an RBI groundout, and Bryce Orr reached on an error that scored Pigg.
The Lakers added three in the second, two in the third and single runs in the fourth and fifth. Although they were leading 9-0 in the fifth, Lakers coach Zach Hobbs pushed them to score a 10th run to put them in position to win in just five innings, lessening the strain on his pitchers.
But now they'll face a much tougher St. Mary team, which they lost to 4-1 on March 17.
"I hope it goes about 18 innings, and they got to use about six pitchers," Hobbs said before St. Mary's game. "We're going to have our work cut out for us."
St. Mary 001 102 4 8 11 0
Graves County 000 000 0 0 5 3
Eggemeyer, Shaw (6), M. Higgins (7) and Johnston; Hayden, Smith (6), Carrico (7) and Travis
WP: Eggemeyer; LP: Hayden
2B: StM-Sims, Darnell, Whittaker; GC-Hannan. 3B: none. HR: none. Multiple hitters: StM-Darnell 2-4 (3 RBIs), Eggemeyer 3-4 (2 RBIs); GC-Puckett 2-3.
Calloway County 332 11 10 11 1
Carlisle County 000 00 0 5 5
Anderson, Orr and Brannon; Stephens, Weatherspoon (2), and Gamble
WP: Anderson; LP: Stephens
2B: CalC-Carter; CarC-Thomason. 3B: none. HR: none. Multiple hitters: CalC-Wagner 2-4, Pigg 2-4 (RBI), Brannon 3-4 (RBI), Dawson 2-3 (RBI).