LOUISVILLE - It may not have been picture perfect but Jeff Bowles was still pleased with his team’s 11-1 victory over the Central Yellowjackets in Monday’s opening round of the Sixth Region baseball tournament.
The victory set up the Bullitt East Chargers with a Tuesday night date with the Pleasure Ridge Park Panthers.
“We survived,” Bowles said of the victory. “I was not impressed with our preparation.”
When Kevin Campbell ripped a leadoff double down the third base line, Bowles knew that his team better wake up.
Starter Brett Hatfield shut down Central in his two innings on the hill. He was followed by Brad Johnson, Jonathan Recktenwald and Josh Stearns.
On the day, Bullitt East collected nine hits but was aided by six Yellowjacket errors.
The Chargers reached starter Jeff Mitchell for a pair of runs in the first.
Cody Morris walked and was sacrificed by Tyler Minogue. Hunter Wood’s fly ball was misplayed in centerfield for the first run and he would later score on a base hit by Kyle Ethridge.
Bullitt East got four more runs in the second. Alex Richardson singled and Hatfield reached when Mitchell tried to get Richardson at second on a grounder. Minogue’s sacrifice scored Richardson and Hatfield would later score on a wild pitch.
With the bases loaded, Ethridge’s single plated two more runs.
The Chargers extended the lead to 9-0 in the third inning.
Richardson doubled and Johnson reached on the catcher. After two-out walks to Minogue and Chaz Jackson, Wood’s triple brought home both.
After Central scored its lone run on a triple by Kamahl Hess, Bullitt East scored a run in its half of the fourth. With two outs, Richardson singled and Recktenwald doubled.
In the bottom of the fifth, Bullitt East ended the game when Jackson walked and scored on Wood’s double.
Bowles said he was impressed by Central, which the Chargers beat in the opening round of the 2010 regional tournament.
“They’re moving in the right direction and they have the right man in charge,” said Bowles.
He planned to start Hatfield, who has played in the state basketball and baseball tournaments.
“We knew he would throw strikes,” said Bowles.
He planned to get some of his younger pitchers an opportunity on the mound while still having his starters ready for the rest of the tournament.
In terms of hitting the ball, Bowles wasn’t as impressed. Still, he said in the opening round you do what you need to do to advance.
“It wasn’t pretty but we won and moved to the next round,” said Bowles.