Baseball honors roll in; BC's Whitehouse to TN

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By Mike Farner

SHEPHERDSVILLE – The baseball awards for area players continued to roll in last week as the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association named its All-State Teams for the 2014 season.

     Heading up the listing with Co-Mr. Baseball award winners Kaleb Duckworth of Henderson County and Tates Creek’s Devin Hairston. Duckworth will be playing at Western Kentucky University next season while Hairston will be at the University of Louisville.

     Duckworth was also recently named the Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year.

     The KHSBCA named three All-State teams and then had a list of honorable mention selections

     Part of the All-State First Team was Bullitt East senior Chase Patton, the Sixth Region Player of the Year. Patton finished the season with a 9-0 record on the mound with a 0.82 ERA. At the plate, Patton hit .325 with 26 hits.

     Patton will be playing at Spalding next season.

     Joining Patton on the first team was Charger teammate Zac Ching. The senior for Bullitt East had some early season arm trouble so only started four games this spring. Ching finished with a .0.65 ERA and a 1-1 record. He struck out 9.37 batters for each seven innings pitched. At the plate, Ching had a .342 batting average in 100 plate appearances with a team high three home runs.

     Ching has signed to play baseball next year at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

     On the KHSBCA All-State Second-Team was North Bullitt junior Jacob Kelly. The pitcher/first baseman was a key member of the Eagles’ run to the semi-finals of the Kentucky State Baseball Tournament earlier this month. Heading into the state tournament, Kelly had a .324 batting average with 35 hits. Kelly had a .153 ERA and an 8-1 record on the mound.

     Listed in the honorable mention portion of the selections was North Bullitt senior Josh Exton. The senior batted .255 with 24 hits including seven doubles and two triples.

     Exton had some arm troubles early in the season, but he was the work horse in the post-season, winning five straight games during one stretch for the Eagles. Heading into the state tournament, he had a 5-1 record with a 1.37 ERA in 46 innings of work.

     Exton will be playing at Spalding University in the fall.

Whitehouse to Thomas Nelson

     For the second time in less than a month, a school in Nelson County dipped into Bullitt County for a new girls’ basketball coach.

     Just last week, Thomas Nelson High School announced that they had hired Bullitt Central freshman coach Josh Whitehouse as its new girls’ basketball coach. He replaces Dwayne Hogan who coached the Lady Generals in the first two years of the program’s existence, improving from 4-23 to 17-13 last season.

     Whitehouse, who is 30-years old, had been at Bullitt Central for less than two years after starting his teaching career at Zoneton Middle School. This past school year Whitehouse not only worked with the girls’ basketball program but was also the girls’ track coach as well as being the school’s assistant athletic director.

     “Joshua bring maturity and strong leadership to our Lady Generals basketball team,” Thomas Nelson principal Wes Bradley told The Kentucky Standard in Bardstown. “We expect big things from Josh both on the court as a coach and off the court as a remarkable classroom teacher.”

     Whitehouse will team physical education and health at Thomas Nelson, the same duties he had at Bullitt Central.

     “I am extremely excited to get started at Thomas Nelson,” Whitehouse said to The Kentucky Standard. “After competing against these young ladies early last season, I know they are a talented team willing to work hard.”

     Bullitt Central played Thomas Nelson twice last season in girls’ basketball winning both games. The season for the Lady Cougars started with a 50-45 victory on the road and then in the last few weeks of the regular season Bullitt Central won 40-34 in Shepherdsville.

     Whitehouse becomes the second coach at Thomas Nelson with Bullitt County ties. For the past two seasons Brian Coffman as served as the baseball coachat the new school.

     It was just two weeks ago, that Bardstown High School hired former North Bullitt girls’ basketball coach Amber Courtney as its new girls’ basketball coach.