Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
LEESBURG — The Kenny Branscom era at McClain officially has its first victory.
In a non-league game against Fairfield on Friday, and behind the work of Mason Ratcliff on the mound, the Tigers earned a 4-1 victory.
“The first one is always special. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of my wife. She is go-to and my coaching career decision make,” Branscom said, with a smile. “My kids are baseball fans, too. My grandpa and dad have always been my biggest fans and I really felt my grandpa’s smile and pride from heaven tonight.”
As you can tell, there are many who have influenced Branscom’s baseball career. That group is obviously centered around his family, his mentors and, of course, his players.
“I couldn’t leave out my mentor and the man who pushed me to go get my own baseball program to do great things with in [former Adena and current Chillicothe coach] Tom Barr. We literally talk or text after every game and he always has great advice to give me,” Branscom said. “Brian Smith is another coach that helps keep things in perspective and offers up a ton of useful advice. Last, but not least, are my players. They have become my guys, my family. They have bought in and are helping to provide the leadership I need to help rebuild this program at McClain. I couldn’t be doing any of this without them. I couldn’t be doing any of this without all these people.”
As for Friday’s in-game action, Ratcliff was a big reason why the Tigers (1-2) walked away victorious.
McClain’s ace threw a complete game in just 79 pitches and allowed just six hits while striking out nine. He also helped his own effort at the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run.
Meanwhile, Wesley Potts was 3-for-3 at the dish alongside two doubles, Trevor Stonerock finished 2-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI, and Kaden Penwell went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
McClain will be back in action on Monday, hosting Peebles.
Tonight, our guys were aggressive in all aspects and played the game the way it is meant to be played,” Branscom said. “We still have a lot of work to do to be where I want us to be. But we are getting there.”