In their regular-season finale at Brooks Stadium on Friday night, Paducah Post 31 and Lyon Post 68 combined for eight runs in the first inning. Unfortunately, this contest will be remembered more for its ending.
Post 31 emerged with the 11-6 victory in a game that was stopped in the top of the ninth when the Post 68 dugout would not stop its pattern of verbal abuse.
"It's sad that the kids gotta go through something like that," Paducah coach Dennis Quigley said after the game. "It's about baseball and not the coach from the other team trying to drag everyone down to their level. We try to get out there and play baseball and keep our focus on baseball. I don't know what he was trying to do but that's not baseball."
Lyon struck first when two singles and a fielder's choice loaded the bases with two out. Jake Green stepped to the plate and looked at a ball before drilling the next pitch deep to left-center, scoring all the runners for a 3-0 lead.
Post 68 pitcher Jay Vincent could not hold the lead in his half of the first. He faced Brett Quigley first and almost hit him on the first two pitches before getting him on the third. It drew a warning from the home plate umpire.
Too many balls and an error quickly loaded the bases. A string of singles partnered with an error and a walk gave Paducah the lead and forced Vincent out. Post 31 led 5-3 after the first and never trailed after that.
Lyon got within one in the third inning but Paducah answered with two in its half of that inning. Post 31 slowly pulled away by scoring a run in each of its final four innings.
As the game continued through the seventh and eighth innings, coaches, players and even fans were unhappy with how the game was being called. More Post 31 batters were getting hit by pitches and the umpire was tossing pitchers out. That drew rebukes from the coaches.
When one fan was especially critical of the umpire, he was tossed from Brooks Stadium.
With one out in the top of the ninth, the Post 68 dugout got in on the criticism and kept taunting the officials and Post 31. The umpire decided to call the game at that point.
With Calvert City no longer fielding a team and Mayfield having eligibility issues, there will be no district tournament this season.
Both teams automatically move on to the state tournament in Shelbyville. Post 31 will face Campbellsville at 4 p.m. on July 28, but coach Quigley would like to get some warm-up games next week from the north and the south.
"Metropolis and Carrier Mills would be good," Quigley said. "Fulton has a college team, the Railroaders. I've talked to them some. It would be a good game to pick up and get ready for the state tournament."
Jeremiah White had a strong game from the plate and the mound for Post 31. He pitched six strong innings for the win and drove in three runs with a pair of doubles. Lee Chandler was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI while Clay Newton led off the fifth with a triple deep to right-center.
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Lyon Post 68 301 002 000 6 13 3
Paducah Post 31 502 011 11x 11 13 0
Vincent, Morse (1), Sholar (6), Broderick (7) and Rogers; White, Shaw (7) and Lawrence.
WP: White. LP: Mose
2B: L-Rogers; P-White 2, Chandler. 3B: P-Newton. HR: none. Top hitters: L-Kubinski 2-5; P-White 2-4 (3 RBI), Chandler 3-4 (2 RBI).
Contact Jon Futrell at 270-575-8664.