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SHEPHERDSVILLE - The good news for the Bullitt Central Cougars last week was that the team finally got to play some games - five games in fact a week after the team played just one game because of bad weather.
The bad news was that the maroon and gray won just one of those five games last week as the pitching game up more walks then the offense could overcome. The biggest loss was the first one as the Cougars dropped an 8-7 decision in nine innings to 24th District rival Southern on Wednesday, leaving the maroon and gray to 0-3 in the district and assuring the team of playing the extra game to open the tournament which will held the week of May 23 at Southern.
Bullitt Central led 5-1 after scoring four times in the top of the third inning, but the game was tied at 6-6 after Southern scored five times over the next two innings. The Cougars went back ahead with a run in the top of the fifth only to have the Trojans match that with a run in the sixth.
Neither team could score against until the ninth inning. A sinking line drive turned into a double and then after hit batter, Southern won the game with a single.
Sophomore Bradley Combs was the starting pitcher for the Cougars and allowed only two hits over the first five innings. John Larison worked the next four innings and suffered the loss despite giving up on three hits.
Bullitt Central had nine hits in the game but seven of those came over the first four innings. Combs blasted a solo home run in the second inning and Cody Powell finished the game with two hits including a double.
“We had plenty of opportunities early to expand the lead,” Bullitt Central head coach GJ Moore said. “We just kept leaving kids on base.”
This game was moved from Bullitt Central to Southern because of wet conditions and Moore didn’t push to have his team be the home team in terms of batting last.
On Thursday, the Cougars tried to make up for some rained out games this season by playing a doubleheader at John Hardin. The maroon and gray were flat from the start and were never in the first game before losing 10-0 to the Bulldogs.
Bullitt Central had only two hits in the game and both of those were singles.
Matt Singleton took the loss for the Cougars as he worked all five innings. The junior allowed only five hits, but he walked eight batters.
In the second game, the Cougars played much better, but for the second straight day, suffered an 8-7 loss. Bullitt Central scored three times in the top of the seventh to take a 7-4 lead, but then could not hold the advantage in the bottom of the inning.
Damon Shepherd was the starting pitcher and went four inning and then Jasen Davis worked the next two inning and into the seventh. Ben Parker then came in and took the loss.
Bullitt Central finished with seven hits with two by Parker including a double. Cody Powell drive in two runs in the seventh with a single and Josh Wood had a sacrifice fly.
With no school on Friday for Oaks Day, Bullitt Central hit the road to Butler County for another doubleheader. The Cougars had tried to play two against that team a few weeks ago on a Saturday, but that was rained out. Moore wanted to play the game because some of his players take batting instruction from the Butler County coach.
Again, the Cougars could not get out of their own way in the first game, losing 13-4. Wood got the start and took the loss as he struggled with his command. Larison and then Davis also worked on the mound.
Bullitt Central collected five hits in the game including a solo home run by Powell. Both Wood and Curtis Goins belted doubles.
The four game losing streak came to an end in the late game on Friday as the Cougars beat Butler County 9-3 behind the complete game pitching of Parker. The sophomore allowed only three hits and didn’t let six walks hurt too much.
The Cougars exploded for ten hits including doubles by Shepherd, Parker and Singleton. Shepherd finished the game with three hits while Parker and Singleton each had two hits.
“At least we got some games in,” Moore said of the past week. “In many of our ten losses we have been there in the fifth inning. We can’t close it out.
“At John Hardin I saw it in their eyes,” the coach said of the seventh inning woes. “We just haven’t played a lot of close games over the last few years. We have to learn to take it and not wait for them to give it to us.”
Bullitt Central is batting .354 as a team this spring.
“We’ve got 15 or 16 home runs and we only had three last season,” Moore said. “Hitting is not our problem. Our ERA (earned run average) is atrocious.”
Bullitt Central will squeeze in a contest with North Bullitt on Thursday, dropping a previously scheduled game against Jeffersontown. The district game against the Eagles has to be played before the middle of next week.