It was a gutsy and aggressive call, but to beat a team like Russellville, it was the call that head coach Ryan Bowerman felt he needed to make.
With the Red Devils trailing 3-2 in the final inning, and a runner on second, Bowerman called the squeeze play. Kaden Edwards laid the bunt down perfectly, allowing Ty Hutto to score and tie the game.
“It was just one of those things where I had trust in my guy at the plate and I had trust in my runner,” Bowerman said. “It was a good situation for us, there wasn’t a force situation at home, and I just had a lot of faith in my guys to execute in that situation.”
Having the faith to call that play meant a lot to Edwards, who is just a sophomore.
“It makes me feel really good and I’m glad that coach trusts me like that,” said Edwards. “Coach Bowerman said it would take some ABC baseball to beat them. I was just trying to get the bunt down the line and it worked.”
The run tied the game. Micah Owens later scored on a wild pitch for the walk off 4-3 win, giving the Devils their first win over Russellville since 2014.
“This is a big deal for the guys. They have been a powerhouse for years, they're extremely a well coached team,” said Bowerman. “But we were in a tight game and we found a way to win. We had our chances. Our guys competed the entire game and I’m proud of the way they handled their business. We kept competing at the plate and we got some big hits in some big situations and it came out our way.”
It almost didn’t go their way. Lawrence County scored two runs in the first two innings, but Russsellville came back to score one in the third and two in the fifth, grabbing a 3-2 lead. All two runs in the fifth came with two outs as well, a demoralizing outcome for the Devils.
It seemed that Lawrence County would come up just short to Russellville again, that is until the final inning.
The Devils made the plays they needed to complete the improbable comeback and get the win.
“We’re up 2-0, they cut the lead to 2-1 and we get in a jam and they manage to go up 3-2,” Bowerman said. “It was good baseball by them, but the longer the game went, the more the pressure started building. I told the guys that we just had to keep doing what we do and eventually we were able to take advantage.”
Hunter White got the win, allowing no hits or runs in an inning and a half of relief work. Ty Hutto along with Edwards had the Devils two RBIs.