Vincent sweeps Lexington in opening round of Class 2A playoffs

Published 7:09 am Friday, April 21, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

LEXINGTON – A road trip to take on No. 5 Lexington in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs on Thursday, April 20 was no problem for the Vincent Yellow Jackets.

Behind a combined 20 hits and 14 runs, the ninth-ranked Yellow Jackets were able to pick up wins of 9-3 and 5-1 to start the postseason with a sweep in the first round.

Despite the sweep, the series featured its share of challenges in the opening game with a nine-inning battle that ultimately set the tone for game two.

Vincent fell behind 3-0 in the second inning of the first game and still trailed 3-2 going into the top of the sixth.

The Jackets, however, tacked on the game-tying run in the sixth on an error with one out that allowed Camden Cobb to cross the plate.

From there, the two teams went scoreless in the seventh, forcing extra innings, and then went scoreless again in the eighth.

Then, all of a sudden, Vincent’s offense had a shift.

After a 1-2-3 inning in the field in the bottom of the eighth, the Yellow Jackets came to the plate in the top of the ninth and found success with a two-out rally.

With two on and two outs, a two-RBI single from Easton Fields broke the tie and gave Vincent a 5-3 lead. That, however, was just the beginning. Back-to-back walks were followed by an RBI single from Aiden Poe and a bases-clearing double from Ray Albright that gave Vincent a 9-3 advantage going to the bottom of the ninth.

They then brought in Grayson Gulde to polish off a solid start from Poe on the mound. Gulde picked up where Poe left off, allowing just one base runner on an error in a quick save to give Vincent the 1-0 series lead with a six-run win.

Poe gave up the three runs in the bottom of the second, but only one was earned, while he gave up just five hits and no walks with 10 strikeouts in eight innings of work.

At the plate, Zac Carlisle led the way with four hits, while Albright had four RBIs on two hits. Fields finished with three hits and three RBIs, while Poe finished with the same number of hits and one RBI. Cobb also added two hits in the win.

Game two was also tight for a while, but the confidence of playing with a 1-0 cushion allowed Vincent to play looser.

The Jackets were able to get off to a quick start and played with the lead thanks to a run in the bottom of the first to set the tone.

Lexington did add one in the top of the third to even the score, but that was the team’s only run of the game, while the Yellow Jackets followed with one in the fourth, one in the fifth and two more in the sixth to steadily pull away for the 5-1 victory.

Carlisle put together a strong complete-game effort on the mound, striking out four and giving up one run on three hits and seven walks to earn the series win.

A steady offensive effort saw Fields, Cobb, Gulde, Poe, Albright and Ethan McElrath all pick up one hit in the game, while Fields, Gulde and McElrath each had an RBI as well.

Vincent will now take on either Collinsville or Winston County in the second round looking to make it to the quarterfinals of the Class 2A playoffs.