SHEPHERDSVILLE - The start of the 2012 baseball season was tough for the Bullitt Central Cougars as they lost a pair of lopsided games to open the campaign before finally getting a win last Tuesday by a 6-4 count over Bardstown.
The Cougars finished the first ten days of the season with a 1-3 mark, fueled mostly by poor pitching.
While the pitching has struggled so far this spring, Cougar head coach G.J. Moore said the situation is not much different than last year only this time around the offense is not picking up the slack. He feels that more offense would take some of the pressure off the pitching staff.
“As bas as we pitched, the frustrating part was that we didn’t hit more,” the second-year coach said. “The new bats we used in the fall. We know we’re not going to hit the home runs like we did last year.”
Before the season began, Moore had said that one thing that the team needed to improve on this season was winning close games in the last two innings, something the team failed to do a year ago. Through the first four games this season, the Cougars are 1-1 in those situations.
In the win over Bardstown, Bullitt Central scored single runs in the top of the fifth and sixth innings only to have Bardstown come back and tie the game in the bottom of each frame. The Cougars then won the game with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh.
In the seventh, the Cougars got a base runner when Ben Parker was hit by a pitch and then Damon Shepherd walked. The first run scored on a single by Tyler Bray before Jasen Davis drove in Shepherd with a sacrifice fly.
Bullitt Central had six hits in the game including a double by Brad Combs. Both Bray and Cody Powell had two hits.
The starting pitcher for the Cougars was Matt Singleton and he worked into the fifth inning, allowing only three hits. Senior Jake Whitehall picked up the win as he got the final seven outs, allowing three hits.
The situation was reversed on Thursday. Bullitt Central led 4-3 after three innings, but could not hold it as the visitors scored a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth to get the win.
Senior Johnny Larison was the starting pitcher and he took the loss as he worked into the fifth inning. Davis then worked for one and a third innings before Zack McCauley finished the game with one and two-thirds of an inning.
The Bullitt Central pitchers gave up ten walks and Spencer County had only three hits.
“There is no defense for that,” Moore said.
Bullitt Central collected five hits with both Combs and Parker having doubles.
The first two games of the season were not good at all for the Cougars. The season started with a 10-0 loss to Elizabethtown in five innings and that was followed by an 8-2 loss to Nelson County.
Against Elizabethtown, Larison and Davis walked 12 batters in just over three innings of work. The Panthers won despite having only four hits.
Bullitt Central’s offense also had four hits, which included a double by Bray. Elizabethtown pitching did not walk a batter.
The starting pitching was a little better against Nelson County as Combs allowed only two runs as he pitched into the fourth frame. Still, the Cardinals took control of the game with five runs in the fourth frame, helped along by two Bullitt Central errors. Shepherd and Davis also pitched in this game.
The Cougars out hit Nelson County nine to three, but still lost. All nine of the Bullitt Central hits were singles, with Davis, Singleton and Jayme Curtis each having two hits.
Bullitt Central’s game on Tuesday of this week that was scheduled with Beth Haven was cancelled. Instead, the Cougars will play at home on Wednesday against Campbellsville at 5:30 p.m. Also, Saturday’s meeting with Fort Knox has been changed to a varsity doubleheader instead of one game.