Eagles Jolt Jarrell
Jarrell coach Dean Fitzner won a battle but lost the war. Big Chase Hibbeler laced a line drive to the right-centerfield fence and by the time the Jarrell outfielders could get the ball back to the infield, Hibbeler was sliding into third with the first triple of his life. He laid flat on his back for a few seconds catching his breath from the long, intense run. Coach Fitzner grabbed Hibbeler’s bat and protested it was an illegal bat. After the coaches brought out their legal and illegal bat information the umpire ruled Hibbeler out. The call caused all the Eagles to get fired up. The ruling cost Lexington a run because Lane Turner singled later in the inning. (More on this later.) This was in the top of the fourth.
In the top of the fifth inning, Lexington started blasting Cougar pitching, with legal bats. Donnie Havard led off with a single. Josh O’Conner reached on an error by the first baseman. Kaelan Blok singled home a run. Tyler Moerbe singled home two more runs. Dylan Iselt singled home a run. Lane Turner reached on an error. Brandon Meyer singled, Havard singled again, and O’Conner drove home two more. In all, Lexington had scored eight runs and chased the Cougars’ starting pitcher.
Lexington got their final run in the top of the sixth, when Hibbeler blasted a Jarrell pitch over the leftfield fence, over the car parked there, hitting the fence around the football field on a couple of bounces. Lexington fans had a field day about this being with a legal bat.
Jarrell got the run back in the bottom of the sixth as the Cougars hit reliever O’Conner with three hits and a walk. With the bases loaded and one out, the Jarrell batter struck out on a pitch that bounced. The batter took off toward first base, but Eagle catcher Lane Tuner, did not throw to first because the batter was automatically out with first base occupied. The Jarrell runner ventured a little too far off third base thinking he needed to run. Turner turned to throw to Hibbeler covering third for the final out of the inning.
Kaelan Blok pitched an excellent four innings, giving up just two runs on his own errors. He ran out of gas in the fifth inning and was relieved by O’Conner with two outs. O’Conner had a rocky sixth inning giving up a run and was greatly helped by the double play. The seventh inning was a completely different story. O’Conner struck out all three batters to complete the save.
Back to the bat issue: Coach Craig Finley said the bat Hibbeler used was legal. They could not find the model number on the bat until after the umpire had tossed the bat from the game and called Hibbeler out. Hibbeler will have both bats available in games from now on.