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North repeats title with big win over Southern

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23rd District Tournaments

By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE -- The North Bullitt Eagles had a few goals at the beginning of the season.

One of which was to be the top seed in the district tournament and to repeat as 23rd District champs.

A third goal was to make a deep run into the Sixth Region tournament.

The first two goals have been accomplished. Now, it is on to the third.

The top-seeded Eagles blew through the Southern Trojans 14-1 to win its second consecutive district crown.

After defeating Southern 1-0 in eight innings during the regular season, head coach Brian Wise knew there was no reason to be overconfident.

The Trojans were missing a few players and did have to extend its pitching a bit in the semifinal win over Bullitt Central.

But, Wise said, the goal for his team was to come out and do what it’s done all year -- win each inning.

The bonus with the championship is that North Bullitt will host today’s regional opener.

The Eagles jumped on starter Austin Tucker, a former Blue Lick player, in the opening inning.

Tyler Mayberry walked and Justin Stinson was hit by a pitch. Logan Wyatt had an RBI single and Jacob Kelly walked. 

After Chance Egnor’s fielder’s choice scored Stinson, starting pitcher Josh Exton drove home the third run with a sacrifice fly.

Staked to a 3-0 lead, Wise could breathe a little easier.

The lone Trojan run would come on a lead-off homer by Austin Harbin in the second inning.

North Bullitt scored four more in the second inning.

With one out, Mayberry was hit by a pitch and Stinson doubled for one of three hits on the day. After Wyatt was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Harbin came on to pitch.

He then hit Kelly and Egnor to bring home two runs.

Exton again hit an RBI sacrifice fly and Daulton Walls got a runner home when his grounder was misplayed at third base.

With one out in the third, North Bullitt fans got a scary moment as Exton felt something in his arm.

Wise took Exton out immediately. 

Following the game, Wise said Exton didn’t have any more pain but with a 7-0 lead and with Exton having some tendinitis in his shoulder earlier this season, there was no need to take a chance.

Kelly came in and shut the Trojans down for the rest of the game.

Combined, the two aces allowed just three hits.

Offensively, the Eagles were about to get started once again.

Keaton Reitz had an infield single to lead off the third inning. Mayberry reached on a fielder’s choice.

Stinson singled and Wyatt walked to load the bases.

Gordon came on for the Trojans and hit Kelly to drive home a run.

With the bases still loaded, Engor walked and Wesley Parker had an RBI single. Walls had the big blow with a 3-RBI triple.

Ryan Henson finished off the inning with an RBI single.

The Eagles scored 14 runs on only nine hits. They did not commit an error in the field.

“It sure helps our guys to relax when you score a few in the first inning,” said Wise.

He has liked the approach his players have taken all year and the team is peaking at just the right time.

With the quality and the depth of the pitching staff, Wise said the only real question is whether the Eagles can string enough hits together to score.

“We’re playing well,” said Wise, whose team is now 25-10. 

In regional play, Wise said pitching and defense has always been the key. And, then, the team has to find a way to score some runs.

“I believe we can match up against anyone,” said Wise. “We’re going to have to play well because everyone has a good team.”

In taking care of business against Southern, Wise was impressed with the focus.

“We stressed winning every inning,” said Wise. “Southern was short a few players but we stayed focused. We played well.”

One of the neat opportunities presented with such a large lead is the chance to get in a lot of players off the bench.

“We’d love to reward every kid,” said Wise. “It’s big for the program when we can get all the kids in the game. We’ve been playing as a ‘team’ all season.”

By virtue of winning the district crown, North Bullitt will be rewarded with hosting the first round game in the regional tournament.

Despite the holiday, Wise is hoping for a big student crowd. 

Through the world of social media, retired assistant principal Margie Reece will throw out the first pitch at the 11 a.m. contest.

Season passes are not good for the regional contest. Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for students.

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The All-District tournament team included: Brandon Johnson, Daulton Walls and Justin Stinson, North Bullitt; Austin Tucker and Andrew Emberton, Southern; Cameron Dukes, Bullitt Central; and Chris Warner, Moore.