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Chargers not fazed by a very tough schedule

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Baseball

By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - Bullitt East’s run through the top teams in Kentucky continued last week with two more games against teams ranked among the top six in the Commonwealth.

At this point, the Chargers have played half of the top six teams in the state poll. While Bullitt East has not beaten any of those teams, they have been competitive before falling to top-ranked St. Xavier 4-0 and to sixth-ranked Eastern 6-4. Coach Jeff Bowles’ team had a 9-5 loss to third-ranked Male the previous week.

The red and gold did close out the week with a 5-0 win over South Oldham.

Against Eastern on Monday, Bullitt East moved ahead 4-3 in the top of the third inning before the Eagles scored single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings to secure a 6-4 win.

Eastern got the early advantage when a ball lost in the sun feel for a double that allowed three runs to score for the home team. Bullitt East rallied in the top of the third when Coulten Maupin walked before Tyler Minogue was hit by a pitch. After a passed ball, Shane Valentine plated the first run with a sacrifice fly. That was followed by a double from Chaz Jackson, a single by Hunter wood and then a double by senior Kyle Ethridge that put the Chargers up 4-3.

Cody Morris was the starting pitcher for the Chargers and he worked just two innigs. Jackson then came on and worked the final four innings, absorbing the loss despite allowing only two hits and one earned run.

Bullitt East finished with five hits including Ethridge hitting a pair of doubles.

For the first time this season, Bullitt East just could not generate any offense in the 4-0 loss to St. Xavier on Tuesday. The red and gold collected just three hits and two of those were by Maupin.

Junior Brett Hatfield got the start for the Chargers and pitched a strong game into the sixth, allowing only six hits with all four runs earned. Hatfield allowed only one hit through the first four innings.

“They put the ball into play,” Bowles noted as Hatfield did not record a strike-out. “We felt we were competitive with them. There is nobody we can’t compete with.”

Bullitt East picked up a win on Thursday in the final game before heading out to Florida on Friday for spring break. The Chargers beat South Oldham 5-0 despite what Bowles saying “we didn’t play that well.”

The Chargers scored solo runs in five of the first innings and then rode the strong pitching of Ethridge to the win.

Bullitt East finished with nine hits including home runs by Ethridge and Jackson. Each also had a double as they each finished with three hits. Wood added two hits as the Chargers collected nine hits.

Ethridge worked six innings on the mound and allowed only four hits with two walks and four strike-outs. Brad Johnson came on and pitched the seventh inning.

The game was played on Bill Cofer Field at South Oldham. Cofer coached at Bullitt Central and led the Cougars to a regional final before shifting to South Oldham. Bowles nearly took an assistants job with Cofer when he was at Bullitt Central.

Bullitt East will be in Florida for spring break this week, playing at the Walt Disney Wide World of Sports Complex. The team will return home next week and will enter district play.