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Eagles pick up elusive victory

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By Mike Farner

 HEBRON ESTATES - Heading into the final weeks of the regular season, any victory is a good one for the North Bullitt Eagles.

After wasting some more good pitching performances, the Eagle bats came alive to close out the week with a 12-2 victory over Moore.

It was only the Eagles’ second victory since a successful spring break trip.

“We needed a win in the worst way,” admitted head coach Brian Wise. “We just haven’t found a way to get the big hits.”

The victory over the Mustangs came at the finale of a three-game round-robin tournament in Woodford County.

Wise put the ball into the hands of freshman Josh Exton, who went five innings to pick up his first varsity win. Evan Bickett finished out the 12-2 win.

The Eagles jumped out on top when in the first as Clayton Kelly led off with a double and Tyler Shewmaker singled. Cody Montgomery’s triple plated both runners and Reid Padgett’s grounder scored the fourth run.

In the fourth, Kelly and Shewmaker singled. Montgomery walked and Padgett drew the bases loaded walk for a 5-2 lead.

The Eagles got two more in the sixth as Shewmaker and Montgomery singled and Padgett singled home another run for a 7-2 lead.

The floodgates opened in the seventh as Blake Hardy, Kyle Payton and Tyler Lloyd all walked. Shewmaker had an RBI single and Marcel Hull’s walk forced in another run. Jared Abell walked for another run and Mitchell Hutchison drove in the final run.

While Moore may not be a ranked team, Wise said the Mustangs did defeat Nelson County, who beat North Bullitt on Friday. The head coach was pleased with the bats and with the pitching of Exton and Bickett.

The first two games of the tournament, however, left Wise with some concerns.

On Friday, North Bullitt couldn’t hold a 5-2 lead and fell to Nelson County 8-6 in eight innings.

The Eagles jumped on top with three runs in the first. Montgomery had an RBI single and two runs scored on an error.

Padgett connected for a solo home run in the third and Anthony Kennedy singled in the sixth and scored on an error.

Shewmaker pitched the first six innings and left with a 5-2 lead. In the seventh, the Cardinals put together four straight hits off Hardy to take a 6-5 lead.

North Bullitt tied the game when Hull was hit by the pitch and Padgett doubled him home.

However, Montgomery gave up a walk and a wild pitch before a single plated that run. Three more wild pitches allowed the insurance run to score for the 8-6 victory.

“We’ve got to learn how to close out games,” said Wise.

On Saturday, North Bullitt lost to the host team 5-4. Abell had his best pitching outing of the year but the Eagles committed five errors against the top 20 team.

The Eagles jumped on top again as Shewmaker singled and pinch-runner Payton scored on a wild pitch.

Down 5-3 in the seventh, North Bullitt scored a run when Montgomery doubled and Hull had an RBI single.

“We had two bad innings on Friday and then we have five errors against Woodford County,” said Wise. “We just can’t win games that way.”

On Thursday, North Bullitt lost its second game of the year to Meade County, 2-1.

Once again, the Eagles couldn’t put hits together at the right time.

The visitors scored their only two runs off T.J. Barr in the second. A pair of singles was followed by a fielder’s choice where the Eagles couldn’t get the double play to end the inning. An error allowed the second run to score.

For the Eagles, the lone run came on what would have been a third strike to close out the inning. However, Bickett ran to first on a strike that bounced to the catcher. Meade County’s catcher threw to third base but Shewmaker eventually scored in the rundown play.

“Once again, our pitcher kept us in the game,” said Wise. “It’s a shame you throw a game like that and you can’t get a win.”

The Eagles were to play Bullitt Central on Tuesday in a key district game and then host Fairdale on Thursday in a district encounter. Currently, Bullitt East is 2-1 in district play and North Bullitt is 1-0. Bullitt Central is 0-2.