The bats weren’t exploding for the Red Devils last Wednesday, but that was no problem because pitcher Cole Turner was perfection on the mound.
Lawrence County defeated Hamilton Wednesday 1-0, thanks largely to Turner’s efforts on the mound. The sophomore ace finished the game with a no hitter, striking out 14 and walking none.
A lone error was the only thing that kept it from being a perfect game.
“It feels great,” Turner said after the game. “I had the team behind making great plays. It felt really good.”
Coming into the season as the team’s ace, the sophomore has had a rough few weeks of late, dropping some starts in games such as West Point and Russellville.
Wednesday’s performance showed he is back on track.
“When you can step up on the mound, do your job and throw strikes, it sets the tone for us,” said head coach Ryan Bowerman. “Cole is a great pitcher, he’s going to be very successful for a long time. He did his job all game, doing a good job of keeping them off balance and throwing strikes.”
Wednesday’s no hitter from Turner was something that came as no surprise to his head coach.
“With Cole on the mound I’m not going to underestimate him,” Bowerman said. “He was a ground ball and an error away from a perfect game, that’s how well he threw. To say that I expect him to throw a no hitter everytime isn’t fair, but I know how good he is and I know what he’s capable of.”
Lawrence County took the lead and the win in the fifth when Micah Owens drove Gage Terry in from first base with an RBI double.
It was the kind of clutch play you can expect from the team’s leadoff hitter.
“I was just trying to put it in play,” laughed Owens. “I wanted to get the next man up to the dish.”
With the win, as well as a 14-6 and 6-3 win over the Aggies on Thursday, the Red Devils punched their ticket to the playoffs. It will be their first appearance since 2016, and their first under Bowerman.
“It means everything. Some of these guys have kind of experienced it (playoffs) a little bit,” Bowerman said. “Not many had a very big role though, and we have five guys starting on varsity for the first time. Them being able to go into the playoffs in their first year is going to set the tone for this program for years to come.”