By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
March 26, 2014 — There is a new sheriff in town for West Carter baseball and Coach Tim Johnson has brought a new attitude to the Comet program.
West is now 3-0 on the season and has a signature win just the first full week into the season, a 13-2 rout of 16th Region title contender Lewis County this past Friday in Olive Hill.
“To everybody else it’s a huge win but for us it’s just another day for us to learn and get better,” Johnson said. “We start two eighth graders and a freshman and we've got many others looking for playing time.
“Lewis has an excellent ball club and I expect them to be a contender this season.”
Senior Spencer Phillips hit two homeruns and eighth grader Peyton Brown also hit a roundtripper of his own to help pace the Comets offensively.
“The first one (Spencer) hit was just a fly ball and they (Lewis) just missed it,” Johnson said. “The second one he hit was a line drive and he just killed that ball. Peyton’s homerun was a great instinct on his part to hit the ball hard.”
On the mound, freshman Ben Jordan went three innings and Brown came on to pitch in the fourth frame. Freshman Caden Rose polished off the last two innings. Phillips’ second homerun, a three-run short forced the run rule in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“Nobody realizes how big that homerun was because getting those last three outs against a team like Lewis County is tough,” Johns said. “They hit up and down the lineup and it’s tough to ask a freshman to close out a game like that against one of the better teams in the region.”
Johnson, who took over the head coaching duties from Brian Brown several months ago, wanted to set the bar high for his young team this season.
“We have a good opportunity to win our first five games,” Johnson said. “While we are still refining our pitching, the expectation for us was to come out of the gate hot and we’ve done that.”
Tuesday’s game between West Carter and Russell was canceled due to weather. The Comets will be back in action Thursday when they travel to Boyd County to try to move to 4-0 for the first time in more than 15 years.
“For us to be able to come out and start 3-0 our kids have to come out and perform at a high level,” Johnson said. “It was a great task for us but everyone who has seen us play says we’re a good team, but we have to play as a 17-man roster and have all 17 contribute in some way.”
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.