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MOUNT WASHINGTON – And then there were two.
With only two games last week, the Bullitt East Charger baseball team remained undefeated at 15-0 after they beat both Fern Creek and Scott High School. The victories left the red and gold as one of only two undefeated baseball teams in the state, sharing the honor with Martha Layne Collins (19-0).
Despite the close proximity, Bullitt East and Collins do not play each other in the regular season.
More important than being undefeated to long-time head coach Jeff Bowles is that his team is 1-0 after beating Fern Creek in the first game of the new 24th District alignment. Bullitt East trailed 6-0 after two innings in that game before righting the ship and blowing past the Tigers for an 11-6 win.
Bullitt East started their best pitcher in Jonathon Recktenwald, but the senior struggled early in the game against a Fern Creek squad that came out and swung the bats. Despite the early hole and the importance of the game, Bowles stuck with Recktenwald and the patience paid off as the senior finished working six innings, holding Fern Creek down while the offense fueled the rally.
Recktenwald threw 89 pitches and while he did allow 11 hits, he finished with six strikeouts and only one walk. Of the six runs, only four were earned as Bullitt East made two costly errors early.
Senior Derek Jones came in for the seventh inning and nailed down the win.
“He was getting ahead in the count, but he wasn’t making good two strike pitches,” Bowles said of Recktenwald. “Then he got sharper doing that as the game went on. His location was better as the game went along.”
The Bullitt East offense scored three runs in the third and three more in the fifth to tie the contest and they then moved ahead with four runs in the top of the sixth inning before adding an insurance run in the seventh.
At the plate, Bullitt East collected 12 hits. Two of the most important hits came off the bat of senior Michael Faul who twice had two-out doubles that each time drove in two runs. Jacob Woodruff had two hits and junior Zac Ching doubles twice and had a single as he scored three times. In addition, Austin Money had two hits.
After being rained out on Thursday, Bullitt East was back in action on Friday to close out the week with a trip to play Scott High School. The Chargers had a little trouble getting their legs back after the bus trip, but they finally pulled away over the last four innings for a 7-0 win.
It was a combined one-hitter for Bullitt East pitchers Tyler Krauth and Chase Patton. Krauth was the starting pitcher and he worked the first three innings, allowing just one walk. He was the winning pitcher when Bullitt East scored the first run in the top of the fourth inning before Patton took the mound.
Patton worked the last four innings and allowed only one hit and one walk. Scott did not get a runner to second base in the game.
At the plate, Bullitt East had just one hit through three innings, but then had nine over the last four at-bats. Hunter Wood finished with three hits including a double as he drove home four runs. The Chargers also got doubles from both Money and Ching. Woodruff and Patton each had two singles.
“We haven’t really talked about unbeaten teams,” Bowles said. “The rest of it will take care of itself.”
Bullitt East had a key district game on Tuesday at home against Whitefield Academy, the only team in Kentuckyt his season that has defeated Pleasure Ridge Park. After playing Christian Academy on Thursday, the Chargers will spend Friday and Saturday in Bowling Green playing three games against teams from that city.