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Offense carries Cougars to a pair of key victories

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Baseball

By Mike Farner

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - Following one of the worst weeks of baseball for Bullitt Central in a number of years, the Cougars bounced back last week to win two of three including a key district contest against Fairdale.

    While the offense and defense have made the Cougars competitive this season, the starting pitching continues to struggle for coach Tommy Alvey’s squad.

    “The starting pitching is a huge concern,” Alvey said over the weekend. “We have got to do a better job of getting people out in the first inning. The pitchers have some control problems. They adjust and then do better, but have to start better.”

    The Cougars beat Fort Knox 10-6 on Tuesday and wrapped up the week with a 15-12 victory over district rival Fairdale. Those two wins were sandwiched around an 11-4 setback to Waggener.

    The win over Fairdale means that Bullitt Central will take on North Bullitt next week in a game that will decide the third- and fourth-seeded teams in the upcoming 24th District Tournament. The winner will not have to play the extra feed-in contest, something the Cougars have had to do the previous four seasons.

    Playing at Fairdale, Bullitt Central had the lead for most of the game before the Bulldogs scored four times in the bottom of the fifth frame to know the score at 12-12. The Cougars then scored three times in the sixth to secure the win.

    In the sixth, senior Corey Brown drove home Austin Mason and Josh Wood with a single. Brown then scored on a single by Travis Stepp.

    Bullitt Central’s offense pounded out 18 hits including four hits each from Mason and Stepp. Brown collected three hits with a pair of doubles while Wood also had a double. Both Dylan Seago and Curtis Goins each had two hits.

    Stepp worked five innings, but allowed nine hits. Johnny Larison came on and picked up the win as he did not allow a hit over the last two frames.

    “That was a long game,” Alvey said. “The scoring was like a football game.”

    In the win over Fort Knox to start the week, Bullitt Central pounded out 11 hits at home. Brown had three of those hits including a pair of doubles. Wood had a triple while both Goins and Stepp had doubles. Damon Shepherd, Mason and Stepp each had two hits in the win.

    Seago was the starting pitcher and allowed five hits through six innings to get the win. Larison worked the seventh inning, allowing one hit.

    The meeting with Waggener on Wednesday was the third this season between the two schools with them splitting the first two contests. This time Bullitt Central gave up six runs in the bottom of the first and lost 11-4.

    All four of the Bullitt Central runs were scored in the fifth inning. Brown collected two of his teams’ hits with a double. Freshman Brandon Combs also had a double.

    Matt Singleton got his first start of the season, but could not get out of the first inning. Combs came on and worked through the fifth inning. Wood pitched the sixth.