Deep pitching carries BE to 4-1 spring break mark

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By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - Nobody ever has a bad week heading to Orlando for spring break, but it was a very good week for the Bullitt East Chargers as they posted a 4-1 record and won the last game of the week against one of the traditional baseball powers in Kentucky.

The capper came on Friday as the red and gold turned back Lexington Henry Clay by a 2-1 count in a game that went ten innings.

“I thought that would be the game,” Bullitt East head coach Jeff Bowles said after the team got back to Mount Washington. “We felt like they would be the strongest team we would play.”

All of the games were played at the Walt Disney World Wide World of Sports complex that serves as the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves.

Henry Clay scored first with a run in the fourth and Bullitt East matched that in the bottom of the sixth. In the tenth, Coulten Maupin singled with one out and then went to third on Chaz Jackson’s single. The winning run then scored on Kyle Ethridge’s sacrifice fly.

Maupin was the winning pitcher as he worked into the ninth inning, allowing only six hits. He picked three runners off first base. Senior Cody Morris then came in and got the win as he got the final five outs with only one hit being recorded.

Bullitt East finished with seven singles. Three of those were by Jackson and two by Maupin.

The week started with a confidence boost as Bullitt East smoked Northwood (Wisconsin) 19-1.

Jackson was the winning pitcher as he worked just the first two frames. After that, the Chargers got one inning of work from Trevor Gonzalez, Bradley Johnson and Brett Hatfield.

Bullitt East collected 14 hits in the rout. Gonalez had a triple while doubles were smacked by Shane Valentine, Dustin Donahue, Alex Richardson and Morris. Two hits were collected by Richardson, Morris and Tyler Minogue.

The only loss on the trip came on Monday as the Chargers fell to Bolingbrook (Illinois) by a 3-0 score.

Bullitt East only had four hits in the game and two of those came off the bat of Jackson.

Morris had a strong outing despite the final score. The senior finished the seven innings of work with ten strike-outs and he only allowed three hits.

“It’s a shame to pitch that well and lose,” Bowles said. “Cody pitched better in this game than the no-hitter earlier in the season. They were a good team.”

There was another blow-out in the game on Tuesday against Francis W. Parker (Illinois) as the Chargers rolled to a 14-0 victory behind the pitching of Brett Hatfield. The junior allowed only three hits.

Bullitt East pounded the ball with 13 hits including a triple by Jackson and a double by Morris. The Chargers got two hits each from Jackson, Maupin, Hunter Wood, Valentine and Morris.

Despite being in Florida, Bullitt East played another Kentucky team on Thursday as they turned back Knott County Central 13-2 in another five inning contest. Wood had an inside the park home run amongst his two hits and Morris had two hits with a double. Both Jackson and Ethridge belted doubles.

Ethridge was the winning pitcher as he worked the first two innings and the senior recorded three strike-outs. Johnson then worked the last three innings and allowed only three hits.

That led into the Friday game with Henry Clay.

“We have seven guys who are throwing it well,” Bowles said. “I don’t think we have ever been this deep with pitching.

“I said before the season that we would go as far as this senior class would take us,” the veteran coach added. “I have been very pleased with them. That’s all you can ask. I expect that to continue and get better.”

Bullitt East will be at home Thursday for the first 24th district game of the season as they will take on Bullitt Central on Thursday at home in a game slated to start at 5 p.m. On Saturday, the Chargers will battle 2010 state runner-up Butler at 11 a.m. in a home game.