Ada left fielder Jackson Boone underwent emergency surgery Tuesday night at Valley View Regional Medical Center after being injured during the Cougars’ 9-8 loss to Duncan.
Boone crashed into the left field wall while chasing a line drive off the bat of Duncan’s Dylan Linke leading off the fourth inning. He was taken by ambulance to Valley View, where surgery to repair damage to his spleen was successful.
“I’ve never had anything like that happen in a game before,” veteran AHS baseball coach Ronny Johns said. “We’ve had some minor injuries over the years, but never anything as serious as that.”
Ada led 3-1 when Boone was injured, and Linke went on to score Duncan’s second run later in the inning when play resumed. Jordan Boone started for the Cougars and pitched five strong innings before Cale Russell relieved to start the sixth.
Duncan went on to score seven runs off Russell — five in the sixth to take a 7-4 lead and, after Ada reclaimed the lead with four runs in the bottom of the sixth, two more in the seventh.
“They got some hits at the end,” Johns said after seeing his club fall to 12-16 on the season. “There were little things here and there we could have done a little bit differently, but we swung the bats and they did, too.
“We battled and hit the ball well,” he added. “We’ve played some close games lately, and playing those kinds of games will help once the playoffs start (next Thursday).”
Cameron Dennard started Duncan’s game-winning rally in the seventh with a leadoff single, starting pitcher Christian Thaxton also singled with one out, and Tyler Wilkins drove in both runs with a single to left.
Ryan Kinder, who homered earlier in the game, singled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but he was erased at second on a fielder’s choice ground ball by Andrew Leach to end the game.
Kinder, Easton Pingleton and Mason Girdley all delivered RBI singles in Ada’s four-run rally in the bottom of the sixth before the Demons spoiled the comeback in the seventh.
The Cougars snapped a 1-1 tie on Kinder’s two-run homer in the bottom of the second, and they answered a Duncan run in the top of the third with one of their own in the bottom of that inning on Russell’s leadoff homer.
Jordan Boone allowed seven hits, walked a batter and hit Thaxton twice during an eventful five innings on the mound, but he was always able to come up with a big pitch to kill threats by the Demons. He was also 3-for-4 at the plate from the leadoff spot in the Ada lineup and scored two runs.
Scott Johnson also had three hits and Russell finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Ada, which outhit Duncan, 16-14.
Linke finished 4-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI, and Dillon Staley was 3-for-4 and drove in two runs for the Demons.