FAIRDALE - In the final two innings, North Bullitt head coach Brian Wise had retreated to the dugout bench to holler instructions to his players. His nerves wouldn’t let him watch from the dugout’s edge.
The district opener Tuesday against host Fairdale had been a roller-coaster game...the type the veteran coach had grown accustomed to this season.
In the end, it was a time to celebrate for Wise’s young Eagles as North Bullitt pulled out a 7-6 10-inning victory over the Bulldogs.
And the final out came with the tying run at third base.
The visitors got a strong pitching performance from starter Tyler Shewmaker and Travis Ridley, who picked up the victory in relief.
“Tyler and Travis pitched very well for us,” said Wise.
In the top of the 10th, North Bullitt’s Cody Montgomery got a one-out walk and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Marcel Hull singled and stole second.
T.J. Barr hit a grounder to first but the throw to the plate was late and Montgomery scored the go-ahead run. Will Parker followed with his third single and his third RBI of the game to give North Bullitt a 7-5 lead.
After sailing through four innings of one-hit ball, Ridley ran into trouble. A one-out walk was followed by a run-scoring two-out triple by Austin Woosley. On the final play, Blake Hardy’s throw to first was caught, dropped and recaptured by Barr for the victory.
Fairdale coaches were upset to say the least with the final call.
The Eagles collected 15 hits on the day, including three by Parker and Hull. Cody Stinnett and Montgomery each had doubles and Clayton Kelly had a triple.
“They knew the importance of the game,” Wise said of his players. “Our kids hung them Fairdale. It’s tough to hang with a team when you’re on the road. We played well.”
After a tough loss the day before, Wise said he was very proud of the players for coming back and playing hard.
“When we needed somebody to make a play, they did,” said Wise.
In other games:
The week got off to a tough start on Monday. Leading with two outs in the top of the seventh, an error opened the floodgates as LaRue County came back for a 8-6 victory in eight innings.
Ridley had a pair of doubles and Montgomery hit his second home run of the season as the host Eagles had 11 hits but committed three errors. Barr took the loss in relief.
On Thursday, North Bullitt pounded out 13 hits en route to a 12-5 victory over Spencer County.
Hull and Ridley each had doubles. Parker had four RBI and Montgomery drove in three.
Barr scattered 10 hits and went the distance to even his record at 2-2.
The Eagles went to John Hardin on Friday night and the host team avenged an earlier loss to North Bullitt.
The visitors could collect only three hits en route to a 5-1 setback.
On Saturday, North Bullitt had Shelby County, a perennial state power, on the ropes. In fact, the Eagles were one out away from the victory when a ball from Eric Standafer cleared the fence. The Rockets put two other runs on the board for the 6-3.
That loss came despite an 11-strikeout performance from Hardy.
In the nightcap Saturday, North Bullitt defeated Kentucky Country Day 13-7.
In the opener, the home team got on top when Hull singled and Stinnett doubled. The freshman catcher scored as the throw to the plate left the stadium.
Going into the seventh inning, North Bullitt led 4-2 but the Rockets were down to their final out when Standafer hit a two-run homer to tie the score. An error, a triple and a double provided the final two runs.
In the second game, North Bullitt took the lead in the third on Ridley’s two-run homer. The home team scored five times in the fourth inning on three hits and two walks and an error.
Jesse King got the victory with Shewmaker earning the save.
Extra base hits came from Mongtomery with a triple and Ridley with the homer.
“We were so close to having a very big week,” said Wise, whose team ended the week with a 3-3 mark. “It turned out being a good week.”
He was impressed with the offense coming around during the week. Even in the loss to John Hardin, Wise said the Eagles had a lot of good, hard shots that just happened to be right at people.
“Baseball is a game in which each team has the opportunity to make 21 outs,” said Wise, whose team is now 9-12. “You can’t run the clock out like in other sports. You have to be ready on every play. But we’re getting better.”