Chargers win despite a lack of big hitting

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By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON – It was another week, but the same old story for the Bullitt East Chargers as the team continued to win despite not hitting the ball well.

The good news is that the team’s winning streak reached all the way to 11 games before an 8-0 loss to Ryle on Saturday in the last round of the Louisville Invitational Tournament ‘pool’ that the Chargers were hosting.

The reason for the good news is that the team continues to pitch well and the defense is making big plays at the right time.

On the other hand, the red and gold are struggling at the plate. Other than collecting 13 hits in a 13-0 rout of district rival Southern, the Chargers had no more than five hits in the three other games last week. In fact, against Jeffersontown, Bullitt East had just two hits, but won the game 1-0.

Veteran Bullitt East head coach Jeff Bowles is pointing out that his team is facing some of the best pitching he has seen. Two of the pitchers that the team faced last week have already signed college papers to play for Division I programs next season.

In the long run, Bowles feels that will make his team better.

“It wasn’t a bad week, but we just didn’t hit it,” the coach said. “We won three of four and a lot of teams would take that. We hated breaking our winning streak, but now we can start another one.”

Last week’s action left the Chargers with a 20-4 record.

The week did start on a high note as Bullitt East rolled past Southern 13-0. That left the Chargers as the only undefeated team remaining in the district.

In this one game, the Chargers pounded out 13 hits including a home run off the bat of senior Tyler Minogue. The red and gold also got doubles from Jacob Woodruff and Adam Howell as well as Minogue. Besides the two hits from Minogue, Bullitt East got three hits each from Alex Richardson and Howell.

On the mound, Jonathon Recktenwald got the win as he worked all six innings. The junior allowed only three hits and struck out eight while walking two.

When play started on Thursday in the Louisville Invitational Tournament, the hitting woes returned for Bullitt East in the first game as they had only two hits in the 1-0 victory over Jeffersontown.

The Bullitt County Chargers were facing the Jefferson County Chargers’ Cody Maerz who has already signed with Morehead State.

The only run scored in the second inning. Howell tripled with one out and then Michael Faul grounded out to first base, plating Howell.

The only other hit for the Chargers was a single by Richardson in the fourth inning.

Bullitt East’s Coulten Maupin was up to the task on the mound as he gave up only four hits. He helped himself as he did not walk a batter and his defense made a big play in the sixth inning when a runner was tagged out at the plate.

On Friday, it was a long game for Bullitt East before they managed to slip past Warren East 4-3 in ten innings. The winning run scored when Faul walked and then pinch runner Avery Davenport moved up on Zach McMillen’s sacrifice. Austin Money then singled him home.

Bullitt East also needed a run in the bottom of the ninth and were fortunate to get it when a pop-up to second base that could have ended the game was dropped.

Bradley Johnson was the starting pitcher and he worked three innings. Woodruff then threw for four and a third innings before Zach Ching came on and got the win. The three pitchers did combine for 15 strike outs and only allowed four hits.

The Chargers had only three hits and all were singles.

The poor hitting finally caught up with the Chargers on Saturday as Ryle picked up an 8-0 victory.

This time Bullitt East had only five hits including doubles by Ching and Howell.

Recktenwald took the loss as he worked the first three frames. Ryle scored six times, but only two of the runs were earned. Derek Jones came in and pitched the next three innings before Trevor Gonzalez returned from an injury to get the last three outs, all on strikeouts.

The Chargers had a district game against Fairdale on Tuesday of this week  and they will close out district action on Monday when they play host to North Bullitt.