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North falls at LaRue 5-3

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Baseball

By Thomas Barr

 HEBRON ESTATES - The hot-hitting bats of the North Bullitt Eagles got a dampening dose of Mother Nature.

After winning six straight games in Myrtle Beach over spring break, the Eagles returned home to the Ohio Valley.

The result was only one game was played due to rain last week.

“When things are going well, you want to keep playing,” said head coach Brian Wise. “Unfortunately, we had one game last week and we really didn’t get on the field but one day.”

Between the raindrops, North Bullitt traveled to Hodgenville on Wednesday for a date with LaRue County.

While not playing terribly and getting a solid pitching performance from Blake Hardy, North Bullitt could not win the 5-3 battle.

Spotting LaRue County a 3-0 lead, North Bullitt got one run back in its fourth inning.

Mitchell Hutchison walked and Cody Stinnett doubled. Will Parker followed with an RBI single.

LaRue got that run back but North Bullitt struck for two in the fifth.

Jesse King singled and Clayton Kelly walked. T.J. Barr singled to load the bases.

Cody Montgomery’s grounder scored a run. Marcel Hull’s fly scored Kelly. However, Barr was called out for leaving second base early.

“Obviously, we thought the call was wrong,” said Wise. “We had our say with the umpire and that was it.”

The Eagles came within a few feet of taking the lead in the sixth. After Tyler Shewmaker and Parker singled, Reid Padgett hit a long fly ball that was caught just short of the fence.

“It was just a strange game,” said Wise. “We didn’t play bad but we couldn’t get the big play.”

Two runs scored on wild pitches as the ball hit the front of home plate and bounced over the catcher. A third LaRue run scored on a botched run-down play.

The only other game for the Eagles came this Monday when Waggener invaded.

“Waggener always plays us tough,” said Wise. “We had some opportunities to put them away but we didn’t.”

In the first, Kelly walked and Barr singled. Hull’s sacrifice fly plated Kelly with the first run.

The dormant scoreboard remained really quiet until the Wildcat fourth.

Tyler Viers hit an infield single and Walter Frederick doubled. Nathaniel Oswalt followed with an RBI single to make it 2-1 for the visitors.

North Bullitt battled back in the fifth. Evan Bickett singled and Kelly’s sacrifice bunt turned into a base hit when no one covered first base.

Barr’s groundout resulted in the tying run. Hull followed with an RBI double to give the Eagles the 3-2 lead.

But it would be Waggener who would win the game in the seventh.

A pair of infield singles was followed by Jared Abell’s error on a bunt hit back to the mound. Winning pitcher Jonathan Brown helped his own cause with an RBI single to plate the deciding run.

Down 4-3, North Bullitt had one last opportunity. Bickett walked and Kelly sacrificed him to second. Barr’s single to right field resulted in a play at the plate. Bickett was called out on the throw from left field.

Wise said that is a split second decision based on the runner and what he saw in warm-ups. It took a perfect throw from the outfield and that is what the Wildcats got.

“I knew it was a struggle to get every run possible,” said Wise. “I made the call.”

The Eagles returned to host Bullitt East on Tuesday in a district battle and perennial power Manual would visit on Wednesday.

“We’re OK,” said Wise. “We’re still hitting the ball well and we’re pitching well. We have a good team.”