East starts strong, then fades at end

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By Mike Farner

MOUNT WASHINGTON - The week started a day late, but the Bullitt East Chargers got off to a quick start, recording three straight shut-outs including wins over Bullitt Central and then Male.

Unfortunately, after the 1-0 decision over Male in the Louisville Invitational Tournament, the Chargers dropped two straight games, falling to Elizabethtown, 3-2, and West Jessamine 4-2.

The 3-2 mark for the week left Bullitt East with a 15-6 record.

“You look at the teams we have lost too and those are very good teams,” Charger had coach Jeff Bowles said over the weekend. “Those are good teams and we have beaten some good teams like Male and Eastern. There is a method to the scheduling so that we can be ready for the post-season.”

Against Bullitt Central, the Chargers scored twice in the bottom of the first and then never looked back, ending the game in the bottom of the fifth when Josh Whitmer singled home the tenth run.

Junior Matt Bowles was in complete control as he allowed just two infield hits in the win. He struck out ten and did not walk a batter.

“I thought he pitched pretty well,” the coach said of his son. “I was pleased with the zero walks. They only hit one ball out of the infield.”

Bullitt East had nine hits in the game off Bullitt Central’s Travis Stepp and Austin Mason. The red and gold got doubles from Brandon Alphin, Whitmer and Robby Gibson. Alphin drove home three runs while Bowles had three hits, stole three bases and scored three times. Whitmer had two hits in the game while Zach McCarthy drove home two runs.

The red and gold completed district play on Wednesday as they beat Fairdale 10-0. That win left the red and gold with a 3-1 record and they will probably have the number two seed when post-season play starts the week of May 18.

Bullitt East again scored early and then ended the game early in the bottom of the fifth. This time the host team scored once in the bottom of the first and then six times in the second before putting the game on cruise control.

Cody Morris was the starting pitcher and he worked three innings, allowing only two hits with a walk and four strike-outs. Christian Bailey pitched the last two innings and needed just 11 pitches to get six outs.

The Chargers finished with eight hits in the win including doubles by Alphin, McCarthy and Tyler Downs. Alphin drove home four of the runs as he had two hits.

It was a classic pitchers’ duel on Thursday at Male in the first game of the Louisville Invitational Tournament. Alphin got the ball and allowed just one hit as the Chargers blanked the Bulldogs 1-0.

The only it that Alphin allowed was a single in the third inning by the number nine hitter. He was later thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Cory Johnson. Male had only one runner reach third base.

Bullitt East’s lone run came in the second inning. Gibson reached on an error and later scored on a single by Johnson. Bullitt East had just four hits in the game.

The level of competition continued to be strong for the Chargers on Friday in the LIT as they lost a 3-2 decision to Elizabethtown, one of the top teams in the Fifth Region.

Senior Pat Revel got the start on the mound and he was in control and had a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Elizabethtown then got a hit a walk and a bunt single before Jacob Woodruff came on to replace Revel. The eighth-grader then hit a batter and an infield single ended the game.

Revel allowed only four hits and walked two with four strike-outs.

Bullitt East had only five hits and three of those came in the first inning when they scored twice. Jimmy Hoffman and Alphin singled home those runs. Hoffman finished with two hits in the game.

Against West Jessamine on Saturday, the Chargers could not overcome the Colts scoring four times in the second inning off starter Matt Bowles. In the bottom of the seventh, the Chargers had runners on second and third with one out and the top of the line-up at the plate, but could not score.

Bowles pitched a complete game with five hits and six strike-outs. He did walk three and he hit three batters.

Bullitt East had seven hits in the game, all singles. Justin Jones had two of those hits.

The Chargers will only play through Thursday of this week because it is Derby Week. The red and gold will play host to Holy Cross on Wednesday and will then travel to top-20 power Western Hills on Thursday.