OKOLONA - Trailing after two days and the first two innings, Bullitt Central baseball coach G.J. Moore still felt that his team had a chance in the opening game of the 24th District Baseball Tournament at Southern High School.
The Cougars have been a high-scoring team all season, but the maroon and gray could not get their bats out of the deep freeze on Tuesday against Fairdale senior pitcher Elliott Bristow. The point then became mute when the Bulldogs exploded for seven runs in the fourth inning to secure an 11-0 victory.
The loss was more frustrating than disappointing for Moore as Fairdale only had a handful of solid hits. Instead, the Bulldogs hit it where the Cougars weren’t on the second day of the game.
The contest had started on Monday with Bullitt Central batting through the top of the first. Lightning stopped play at that point and later a heavy downpour sent both teams home and forced the entire tournament back a day.
“We could have gone into that fourth inning with the score easily being 0-0,” Moore lamented after the game. “Looking back I’ll wonder about making a pitching change.
“They had some swinging bunts and then we didn’t make some plays,” the coach added. “We either play well or it is a complete disaster. It was hard to watch today.”
Bullitt Central (10-16) finished with only three hits and the Cougars never got a runner to third base. The three singles were turned in by senior Curtis Goins, junior Tanner Freeman and sophomore Jacob Muncy. Bullitt Central also had a walk and a hit batter for five base runners.
“Today we didn’t hit which doesn’t happen often,” Moore noted. “We get down early and have to play station-to-station baseball and that is tough for us.”
Fairdale (12-20), which had beaten Bullitt Central 4-3 in eight innings during the regular season, finished with 11 hits off Bullitt Central starter Ben Parker, a sophomore. He pitched all the way into the fourth inning before Bradley Combs came on to face the last two batters.
The Bulldogs did not have an extra base hit until bases loaded double by Bryan Esterday accounted for the last three runs. Bullitt Central was credited with only one error, but a number of close plays could have gone either way. Fairdale had seven hits in the fourth inning, but only two of the hits got to the outfield grass.
“There were plays in the outfield and the infield that you have to make,” Moore noted. “You still have to make plays. We didn’t do that today. It’s been that way all year.”