Chargers continue to win the tight games

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By Mike Farner

  MOUNT WASHINGTON - It must be mirrors.

Most high school baseball teams that sport 24-4 records have dominated a lot of foes. Not Bullitt East.

Despite not being able to hit the ball very well, the Chargers have done enough good pitching and defense to win this spring. Coach Jeff Bowles’ team did enough things right last week to win four straight games including a 3-0 victory over Manual on Friday in the traditional ‘Oaks’ game.

“It’s good that we respond in different ways,” Bowles said over the weekend as his team has won 15 of its last 16 outings. “The new bats are playing a lot into this. Outfielders play in more and when you do hit the ball it can go over their heads. 

“Our pitchers have responded,” the coach added. “We’re just doing enough to win.”

Nothing wrong with a 24-4 record.

“I can’t argue with that,” Bowles said. “We’ll keep playing our way. We’ll settle for winning 1-0.”

Bullitt East never had to do last week, but the Chargers did have to struggle to get a 3-2 victory over Fairdale on Tuesday in a key game for seeding purposes in the 24th District.

The Chargers led 3-0 after four innings, but then had to hold on in the last two innings for the win.

Fairdale scored a run in the seventh to pull within 3-2 and had runners on second and third with one out. Reliever Coulten Maupin got the next batter to chop the ball to third base and the Chargers got the out at the plate. When catcher Hunter Wood’s throw to first hit the runner, the Fairdale runner from second tried to score only to be tagged out by Wood.

Sophomore Zac Ching was the starting pitcher for Bullitt East and he got the win. The sophomore worked into the seventh inning and both runs were earned as he allowed four hits with four walks and five strikeouts.

Maupin got the save as he got the last three outs.

Bullitt East had eight hits in the game including doubles by Austin Money and Trevor Gonzalez. Josh Stearns finished with three hits.

On Wednesday there was just enough offense for Bullitt East to slip past North Hardin in nine innings by an 8-6 score.

The two runs in the ninth scored with the help of two Trojan errors. Monday reached on one of the errors and then moved up on a sacrifice. After Alex Richardson was walked intentionally, Adam Howell was walked. On the fourth ball, the ball got away from the catcher and when he tried to get Money at third, the ball sailed into the outfield, allowing both runners to score.

Stearns was the starting pitcher for the Chargers and he worked five innings. After Wood pitched in one inning, Gonzalez got the win with three innings of work as he did not allow a run.

Bullitt East had just four hits in the game but the team did get a three run home run from Richards in the first inning. Money finished with two hits including a double as he drove home two runners.

Against Bethlehem on Thursday, Bullitt East was down 5-3 after the Eagles score four times in the top of the fifth inning only to have the Chargers score seven times over the next two innings to secure a 10-6 victory.

The Bullitt East offense pounded out ten hits including a pair of home runs by Wood who finished with four RBI. Wood hit a solo home run in the second inning and after a single, came to the plate with runners on second and third in the sixth. The Eagles opted to pitch to him and the junior hit a three-run home run that sealed the win. The Chargers also got doubles from Money and Michael Faul. Faul finished with two hits.

In the final game of the week, Bullitt East scored in three different innings to beat visiting Manual 3-0.

Wood hit his third home run in two days to open the scoring in the first inning. Bullitt East added a run in the second and another in the sixth in support of starting pitcher Johnathon Recktenwald. The junior pitched a full game and allowed just three hits while striking out seven.

Bullitt East had only sit hits. Howell had a double while both Wood and Gonzalez collected two hits.

The Chargers will have another short week this week as they will not play on Saturday because of the school’s prom. The big game of the week comes on Wednesday when the red and gold head into Jefferson County to take on Male, one of the state’s top-10 teams.