East's southern swing includes three victories

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By Mike Farner

    MOUNT WASHINGTON - The longest road trip of the season for the Bullitt East Chargers turned into a 3-1 spring break trip that head coach Jeff Bowles solved a few lingering ills for the red and gold.

    “We went 3-1 and it was a successful trip,” the coach said of his team’s annual trip to the ESPN Wide World of Sports facility at Walt Disney World. “The kids had a good time. The varsity won and the junior-varsity went 4-0. We got to practice a lot and played a lot of innings. It was a good trip.”

    The toughest game was the first one of the week as Bullitt East slipped past St. Charles Prep, a team from Illinois, by a 6-5 count on Monday.

    “They were the best team we played down there in my opinion,” Bowles said.

    The good news was that the Chargers got a solid five innings from senior Matt Bowles on the mound. He had missed his previous start with a tired arm. The coaches’ son worked five innings and gave up three runs with five strike-outs and five walks. Cody Morris and Chaz Jackson also pitched in the win.

    Offensively, the Chargers collected nine hits including four by Bowles who scored three runs. Brandon Alphin belted a double and Ryan McClure finished with two hits.

    Everybody’s vacation has a bad day and that one for the Chargers came the following day as they dropped an 11-1 decision to Eastern High School from New Jersey.

    “We just came out and laid an egg,” Jeff Bowles admitted.

    Bullitt East had just three hits and the first was the run that scored as Matt Bowles led off the game with a single and after two stolen bases, scored on a sacrifice fly. Alphin and freshman Hunter Wood also had singles in the game.

    On the mound, Kyle Ethridge got the start, but could not get out of the fourth inning and took the loss. Brett Hatfield faced three batters and then Coulten Maupin worked the last two innings before the game was stopped.

    After an off day, the Chargers pretty much had another off day as they took on Somerset Christian, a team from Kentucky that few people know even exists. This game won’t put the school on the map as Bullitt East rolled to a 16-0 victory.

    In fact, Charger freshman Jacob Woodruff was credited with a perfect game. He struck out 11 of the 15 batters he faced and Somerset did not get the ball out of the infield.

    Despite heavy substitutions after the first inning, Bullitt East still managed 12 hits including a home run and a double by Josh Whitmer. Shane Valentine added a double. Jackson and Justin Jacobsen each had two hits.

    It was slightly more competitive on Friday, but Bullitt East still rolled past Springs Valley (WV) by a 10-0 count.

    Alphin got the start and worked a complete game, allowing just three hits.

    Bullitt East’s offense pounded out 18 hits including both Alphin and Whitmer each collecting two triples on a really big outfield. Jacobsen added a double. Alphin finished the day with four hits while Whitmer along with Valentine, Tyler Minogue Ethridge and Jackson each had two hits.

    Bullitt East will play its first district game of the season on Thursday when they travel to Shepherdsville to take on Bullitt Central. On Friday the red and gold will take on Butler in a rematch of last season’s Sixth Region final that Bullitt East won in nine innings.