East’s Patton hurls no-hitter in win over Panthers

-A A +A


By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON – After the opening days of the high school baseball season, Bullitt East head coach Jeff Bowles wasn’t exactly pleased with the way things were going.

That all changed on Friday when Charger senior pitcher Chase Patton threw a no-hitter against traditional power Elizabethtown. That brightened the outlook for the veteran coach as his team got a 3-0 victory.

That win lifted the Chargers to 4-2 for the season heading into the last week at home before the team heads out over the weekend for Florida and spring break baseball.

“We played Elizabethtown on Friday and it was a no-hitter,” Bowles said a few days later. “Chase retired the last 19 batters in that game. That was a big shot in the arm.”

Patton got the complete game no-hitter by only throwing 69 pitches. The senior finished with eight strike-outs as 77 percent of his pitches were strikes.

The lead-off batter for Elizabethtown was hit by a pitch and he later got to second, but Patton did not allow a base-runner after that point.

“That was one of the best games we’ve had pitched in a while,” Bowles noted.

Even with the no-hitter on the mound, it was a tight game for all seven innings. Bullitt East got a run in the fourth inning when Kyle McKinley’s single scored Jacob Moore, who had singled.

That 1-0 score stood until the top of the seventh when the red and gold added two insurance runs. There were two outs when Chase Williams walked as a pinch-hitter. Garrett Wilson followed that with a double and then Brayden Blair singled home both runners.

Just as importantly as Patton’s pitching was the fact that Bullitt East did not make an error, a part of the game where the Chargers have struggled early in the season.

Bullitt East is going through some injuries and the coach said that as many as five starters have missed at least one game in the opening stretch. The good news is that none of the injuries should be long-term.

The Chargers have been living on their pitching. Over the first six games, the pitching staff allowed just one earned run.

The season started for the Chargers with a 2-0 loss in Lexington to Paul Dunbar High School, the pre-season number one team in the state.

Senior Zac Ching got the start for the Chargers and he allowed just two hits and two walks in five innings of work. The defense did commit two errors behind him.

Unfortunately, the Bullitt East offense managed just one hit, a single by junior Morgun Willis.

In his first outing of the season, Patton picked up a 3-2 win over North Oldham. This time out, the senior did allow four hits and both runs scored before he got an out, but he settled down and shut-out North Oldham through five innings before Austin Norris came in and got the last six outs.

Bullitt East had just three hits in this game, but did get a home run from senior Alex Ralph and a double by Jacob Bowles.

Last week, the Chargers made the short trip to Bardstown to take on Nelson County and they recorded a 9-6 victory. The win was impressive as Nelson County’s starting pitcher has already signed with the University of Kentucky.

Nelson County may have scored six runs, but none of those runs was earned including the five they scored in the fourth inning to take a 5-4 lead. Bullitt East scored a run in the fifth and then added two runs in both the sixth and sieventh innings to get the win.

Senior Tyler Krauth got the start on the mound, but did not get the decision despite giving up just two hits. The Bullitt East defense had seven errors in the game. The win went to senior Adrian Maddox who pitched three innings and allowed just one run on one hit.

Bullitt East had six hits in the win including a double by Ching. Nelson County pitching gave up seven walks.

The defense for the Chargers continued to struggle on another trip to Bardstown as the red and gold suffered a 7-6 loss to Bethlehem. In this game, the Chargers made eight errors.

Starting pitcher Hayden Davenport worked four innings and did not give up an earned run but was saddled with the loss. Norris came in and worked the last two innings, striking out three.

Bullitt East had eight hits in the game. After being down 7-2 after five innings, the Chargers got a two-run home run from Bowles in the sixth inning and a two-run shot by junior Dillon Coffman in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough. Wilson collected three hits in the game including a double.

The only ‘easy’ win for Bullitt East in the opening stretch of games came on Thursday as the red and gold blasted Spencer County 11-1 in a game that went just five innings.

Still, the one run was unearned. Wilson was the starting pitcher and the sophomore allowed on three hits in four innings of work. Another sophomore Troy O’Brien, worked the fifth inning and did not allow a hit.

Bullitt East finished with ten hits in this game including three off the bat of Blair, with a double, as well as two from Moore. Wilson, Willis and senior Kyle Starkey each had a double.

Bullitt East has three games this week with the highlight coming on Thursday when they play host to Bullitt Central. The varsity contest will start at 5 p.m.