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Beechwood advances to All “A” Classic semifinals behind impressive performance at the plate

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

An impressive performance at the plate carried Beechwood to a 16-2 win over Walton-Verona in the first round of the All “A” Classic state baseball tournament on Saturday at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.

The Tigers batted .500 (15 of 30) as a team with 10 extra-base hits in the victory and will take a 19-2 record into their semifinal game against Danville (19-4) at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. The first semifinal game will be Pikeville (17-7) vs. Lyon County (18-3) at 8:30 a.m.

Beechwood junior Brice Estep

Beechwood posted its 12th win by 10 runs or more in the five-inning game against Walton-Verona (16-7). When the two teams faced each other earlier this season, the Tigers pulled out a 4-3 win.

On Saturday, Beechwood scored in every inning against three Walton-Verona pitchers. The Tigers put the game away in the third inning when they scored nine runs on six hits to open up a 12-1 lead.

Junior catcher Brice Estep opened the third inning with a double and capped it off with a three-run home run. The other big hit in that inning was a two-run double by junior Landon Johnson, who had a two-run single in the second inning.

Senior pitcher Sam Cottengim gave up seven hits, but both of Walton-Verona’s runs were unearned. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI. The other Beechwood players with two RBI were outfielders Mitchell Berger and Brett Holladay.

Walton-Verona senior shortstop Nick Allen and junior first baseman Lance Coleman also went 2-for-3 at the plate. Coleman had one of his team’s three doubles off Cottengim, who picked up his third win in five starts.

Danville came from behind to defeat Campbellsville, 17-6, in the All “A” Classic’s final first-round game on Saturday. The Admirals trailed, 6-4, going into the fourth inning and scored 13 runs to set up a rematch with Beechwood.

In the opening round of last year’s post-season state tournament, Danville defeated Beechwood, 6-4, and then made it to the final four.

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