After a disappointing opening night, the Adair County Indians’ baseball squad has reeled off a pair of impressive victories. The Tribe topped Cumberland County at home Tuesday, March 22, and dispatched Casey County Thursday to set the win-loss record at 2-1.
“Obviously, it’s a good sign how we’ve bounced back after Monday night’s game,” says Indians’ head coach Ryan McQueary. “We’ve got to continue pitching well, and that’s probably what I’ve been most pleasantly surprised at, how our young guys have stepped up and thrown some good innings for us, which is always nice to see early [in the season]. I like our team all the way through the lineup.”
Indians 11 Cumberland Count 5
Adair was back on its home field 24 hours after the loss to Russell County, and once again found itself staring down other team’s ace, the Panthers’ Colby Huddleston. The outcome was different this time around.
“I thought we swung the bat well,” McQueary says. “They hit a homer in the first inning, and we kind of laid stagnant there for a while, but then we were able to pick things up and earn the win.”
A four-run sixth inning secured win No. 1 on the season for Adair, thanks to a two-run double off the bat of Braxton Smith, Jake McQueary taking a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, and a Bryce Russell RBI single.
“We left a few runners on and there’s definitely some things we can do better, things we still need to work on, but I was proud of how we responded after the loss,” adds Boone Coomer, one of McQueary’s assistant coaches. “Overall—a really good win.”
Freshman Brayton Coomer earned the win on the mound, going 3.1 innings, giving up three runs (two earned), and striking out three. Eighth grader Bryce Russell went 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of Coomer, and senior Carson Jessie recorded the game’s final seven outs to pick up an unorthodox save, striking out a pair of Panther batters.
Indians 12 Casey County 2
Adair kept the momentum going Thursday night in their first road contest of the season, taking down Casey County by 10 runs.
Carson Jessie drove in four for Adair, and freshman Brayton Coomer belted a two-run homer in the first to propel a big day at the plate for the Indians’ offense.
Despite the gaudy numbers, however, McQueary still sees plenty of room for improvement. The Tribe left 15 men on base, and the game went the full seven innings, with Adair failing to capitalize on several opportunities to mercy-rule the Rebels.
“It was kind of a crazy game,” McQueary says. “Obviously, you’re never disappointed in a 12-2 win, but we have to do better about really pressing down on the gas pedal when we have the opportunity. There were a lot of chances to get key hits where we left guys out there [on base].”
Russell got the starting nod on the rubber and the middle schooler was more than up to the task, going 5.1 innings, giving up five hits, one run, and striking out two. The youngster showed tremendous poise and command, not surrendering a single walk. Smith relieved Russell to secure the final two outs in the sixth, and Jake McQueary tossed a scoreless seventh to slam the door.
“Bryce threw really well,” McQueary says. “Braxton and Jake both came in and did their jobs, so we’re very pleased to get a couple of wins and see these young guys stepping up and contributing.”
Freshmen Connor Loy and Brayton each tallied two hits in the contest.
Box scores are provided courtesy of 93.5 WAIN.