When the lights came back on following a power outage at Scott High School in the top of the fifth inning of Tuesday’s 10th Region semifinal baseball game between Campbell County and Bourbon County, the lights came back on as well for the Campbell County bats.
Campbell County scored three runs in the top of the fifth, including a two-run double by sophomore first baseman John Eblin after play resumed following the power outage, and rallied from a 4-2 deficit for a 7-4 victory that advanced the Camels to the regional title game for the first time since 2005.
Campbell County (19-16), which is 16-6 since a 3-10 start to the season, will face perennial 10th Region power Harrison County at 6 tonight in the regional championship game.
Harrison County (23-7) advanced to the championship game for the 23rd time since 1984 with an 8-1 semifinal win over host Scott in Tuesday’s first semifinal game. The Thorobreds, who lost in last year’s regional championship game to Bishop Brossart and haven’t won the title since 2010, are seeking their 21st regional title since 1984.
Bourbon County (24-13), which was seeking its third regional championship game appearance in the last four seasons, had rallied from a 2-1 deficit to its 4-2 lead by scoring three runs in the bottom the fourth, including two runs that scored on a throwing error at home.
Campbell County senior shortstop Tyler Walsh, who went 3 for 4 and missed the cycle only by not hitting a homer, led off the top of the fifth with a triple and scored on a single by senior center fielder Paul Griffis to cut the deficit to 4-3. After Bourbon County sophomore starter Kaven Brown, who entered the game with a 10-1 record, recorded a strikeout, the lights went out and caused about a 30-minute delay.
When play resumed junior third baseman Joe Kremer lashed a single against Brown, senior pitcher Rob Franzen was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Eblin then followed with a two-run double to put the Camels up 5-4.
“That was one of the oddest things I’ve seen in baseball,” said Campbell County coach Scott Schweitzer, who is in his fourth season. “Our guys stayed focused and stayed in it and came right back out and hit the first pitch and bam, bam, bam we’re off and running again. It’s a group that stays loose and they do struggle at times with focus, but when the lights come on for them and it’s a big game that means something they’ve played incredibly well.”
Campbell County added two runs in the top of the sixth when No.9 batter Mitch Kramer walked, Walsh doubled him home, and after Griffis singled, a pinch-runner for Walsh scored on a double-play ground out.
Walsh didn’t run, because he was warming up to relieve, but Schweitzer stuck with Franzen, who allowed a leadoff single in the sixth, proceeded to pick off that runner, got the final two batters in the inning, and after allowing a leadoff walk in the seventh, struck out the next two batters and got a fly out to center field to end the game. Franzen, who was clocked at 86 mph in the game, allowed just six hits, one earned run, walked one and struck out 10.
“Robby came off the mound in the sixth and patted his chest and said I want it,” said Schweitzer. “He’s worked his butt off all winter long and paced himself out to get there. He threw more pitches than I’d like him to throw, but he’s a senior and he gutted it out.“
Campbell County took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Franzen hit a sacrifice fly to center with the bases loaded to score Griffis.
Bourbon County tied it at 1-1 when Nick Wheeler doubled home David Baker in the bottom of the second.
The Camels went back up 2-1 in the top of the fourth when Franzen hit a one-out bad-hop single and scored on an error.
Bourbon County then went up 4-2 in the bottom of fourth when junior third baseman Tyler Bretz singled, Allen double to put runners at second and third and both scored on an infield error. Cody Miles, who reached on the error, scored on a double by Cameron Whitaker.
Schweitzer said Walsh will likely start tonight’s championship game against Harrison County senior standout Jordan Martin, who pitched a complete-game , five-hitter in a 2-1 win over Louisville Butler in the 2010 state championship game.
Campbell County 7, Bourbon County 4
WP-Franzen (12 Ks). LP-Brown. Hitting Leaders: CC-Walsh 3-4, 2B, 3B; Griffis 2-3; Eblin 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI. BC-Whitaker 2B; Baker 2B; Wheeler 2B.
Records: Campbell County 19-16, Bourbon County 24-13.
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