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MOUNT WASHINGTON - Once again, the Bullitt East Chargers came out of playing in the Louisville Invitational Tournament on a hot streak.
A year ago, the red and gold lost a game in that event and then did not lose again until the final of the Sixth Region Tournament, a mark of 14 straight wins.
This season, Bullitt East lost twice the previous week in the LIT and then won four straight games last week including a 12-0 victory over Western Hills on Thursday, a team that has beaten Pleasure Ridge Park this year.
The week started with a 10-6 victory over visiting Shelby County and then continued with a 7-2 win over Fern Creek. The Chargers then made it look easy as they bombed Holy Cross 15-0. The week then ended with the victory in Frankfort over Western Hills.
It was a short week for the Chargers because of Derby weekend. In addition, head coach Jeff Bowles was out of town on a school sponsored trip, turning the team over to associate head coach Craig Sharpe.
The toughest game of the week was the first one as the Chargers needed to score four times in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull away from a strong Shelby County team 10-6. Shelby County had tied the game with three runs in the top of the sixth.
“It was tied three different times, but we always led,” Bowles noted. “They were pretty good. They were 12-7 against a tough schedule.”
Senior Justin Jones was the winning pitcher as he worked all seven innings. He allowed seven hits while striking out four and walking just one.
On offense, the Chargers pounded out nine hits including three home runs. Brandon Alphin had one of those home runs and also had a double as he drove in four runs. Josh Whitmer and Jones also hit round trippers while Jimmy Hoffman added a double. Matt Bowles had two hits in the game.
Against Fern Creek on Tuesday, the Chargers scored two runs in the first inning and then one more in each of the next five innings en route to beating the Tigers 7-2.
The win on the mound went to Pat Revel as he worked five innings, allowing just three hits. Both of the runs were earned. He had six strike-outs and a walk. Cody Morris and Christian Bailey each worked an inning.
Bullitt East finished with nine hits in the win and most of those went for extra bases. Jimmy Hoffman belted a home run while the team got doubles from Whitmer, Jones, Revel and Ryan McClure. Bowles had two singles while driving in three runs while Hoffman had two RBI.
Alphin was in the driver’s seat on Wednesday against Holy Cross as his teammates stoked him to a 10-0 lead after one inning before Bullitt East won 15-0 in five innings. Alphin, a junior, pitched a complete game, allowing just one hit.
Jeff Bowles was getting play-by-play on the game on his cell phone while making his trip to New York City. After the big early explosion, the results slowed to text messages.
The Chargers smashed a season-high five home runs in this game including two by senior Zack McCarthy as he drove home five runs. The red and gold also got home runs from Whitmer, Alphin and Ryan Kahl. Hoffman and Jones added doubles to the hit attack. Bowles finished with three hits while Hoffman, Alphin, McCarthy, Whitmer and Kahl each had two hits.
Bullitt East picked up one of its most impressive wins of the season on Thursday when Sharpe took the team to Frankfort and they scored in each of the first five innings in a 12-0 rout of Western Hills.
Matt Bowles got the start on the mound and allowed only one hit. He had four strike-outs and walked one.
Bullitt East had 11 hits in the onslaught including a two home run game by Alphin as the junior drove home half of the team’s runs. Alphin also had a double and finished four-for-four at the plate. McCarthy also had another home run and had three RBI while Jones added a triple
That action left Bullitt East with a 19-6 record, the most wins of any team in the Sixth Region with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
“We hope so,” Bowles said of repeating the success this spring that the program had after the LIT last season. “It’s like we talk about that people know what they n eed to do and they their roles are. We seem to get going after the LIT. It has worked out pretty well and we hope to duplicate last year and go even further.”