Offense a no-show for Central baseball

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By Mike Farner

SHEPHERDSVILLE - For most of last week, the Bullitt Central Cougars struggled to score runs. When they did finally generate some offense, the pitching sagged.

Put those two things together and it led to a 0-4 week for the maroon and gray.

The first game was a 10-0 loss to Bullitt East in a district game that was pushed back a day. On Tuesday, coach Tommy Alvey’s team was no match for the Chargers (see additional information for this game in the story to the left), falling behind 3-0 after three innings.

Bullitt Central started junior Travis Stepp on the mound and some defensive lapses cost the team those early runs. Stepp then complained of soreness in his arm and he was pulled after three innings. Austin Mason then pitched the last two innings as Bullitt East scored seven times.

“When Travis pitched we made some errors,” Alvey pointed out. “Travis is our best, so we need him, but we had to take him out over his elbow. We shut him down for the rest of the week.”

Bullitt Central could muster just two singles against Bullitt East starter Matt Bowles and only one of those balls got out of the infield.

“Matt is a high quality pitcher,” Alvey said. “We wanted to jump on the fast ball early in the count. I can’t tell you how many times he threw that and we let it go by.

“The atmosphere at school and before the game was excitement,” the coach added. “We came out ready to play, but then we had some defensive errors and we lost our composure.”

On Wednesday, the Cougars put up one of their best games of the season, but lost to district rival Southern 4-3 in eight innings. Bullitt Central had sent the game into the extra inning on a two-out home run by senior Matt Craven in the top of the seventh inning.

Unfortunately, in the bottom of the eighth Southern won the game after Bullitt Central had intentionally walked a batter to load the bases. The next batter hit the ball to third base, but it was misplayed as the winning run scored.

Dylan Seago got the start for the Cougars and he worked all eight innings. The junior did give up two runs in the first inning before settling down. He allowed six hit while striking out five and walking just one.

“We put the poor play from the day before behind us,” Alvey noted. “Then Seago pitched a great game. We had opportunities to score early.”

Bullitt Central collected seven hits in the game. Stepp had a double to go along with Craven’s home run.

The Cougars had a lot of offensive trouble on Thursday as they lost a 4-0 decision to Bethlehem.

“We just couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Alvey said. “We only struck out twice, but didn’t score any runs. We hit it, but right at them.”

Sophomore Dylan Johnson pitched a strong game for seven innings. He allowed only six hits while striking out one.

Bullitt Central had just three hits in the game and each of those was a single.

On Friday, the Bullitt Central bats came alive but the defense made seven errors as the Cougars dropped a 16-11 decision to Waggener at home.

“It was one of our worst games of the season on the left side of the diamond,” Alvey recalled. “They capatilized on that.

Bullitt Central had 11 hits in the game including four hits from Mason including a double and a triple. Josh Wood added three hits while Craven had two singles. Logan Heath belted a double in the loss.

Freshman Damon Shepherd got the start and worked the first three innings. Mason took over in the fourth and completed the game.

“Right now we’re just trying to figure out how to play a complete game,” Alvey said. “Our pitching has been strong and is keeping us in games. We just need to pull everything else together.”