By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Three pitchers combined to no-hit Williamsburg as South Laurel rolled 10-0 in five innings over the visiting Yellowjackets Monday night.
“Always good to get district play off on the right foot,” South Laurel coach Wynn Harris said.
Zach Allen got the win for South, going three innings and striking out eight in the process. Brennan Miller pitched the fourth, while Taylor Morris came in to close things out in the fifth. Only three Williamsburg (9-2, 0-1) players were able to reach base and all three were on walks.
“We pitched it well,” Harris said. “I’m proud that our guys were able to pitch with the lead. That always helps.”
The Cards (7-3, 1-0) were coming off a tough spring break trip to South Carolina, where they finished 1-2.
“We played a lot better than we did in Charleston,” Harris said. “We went 1-2, and I’ll take the blame for the two losses.”
Austin Moore and Daniel Neal both had two-run singles in the win, while Allen also drove in a run to help his own cause. On the mound, Allen set the tone right away, striking out eight of the 11 batters he faced.
Alex Patterson took the loss for Williamsburg, going two innings, allowing four runs on three hits while walking five and hitting one batter.
The Cards scored three in the bottom of the first and never looked back. Trent Abner and Joe Gaines both walked to lead off the home half of the first. After Patterson got the next two batters out, he walked Trey Martin to load the bases for Moore, who singled to left to drive in Abner and Gaines for the 2-0 lead. Allen followed with a single to plate Martin and give his team a 3-0 advantage.
Two more South runs crossed home plate in the second to up the lead to 5-0.
Brennan Miller walked to lead off the inning, and that was all for Patterson, as Jordan Osborne was brought in to relieve him. He walked Abner, the first batter he faced, then with one out, hit Alex Sears to load the bases for Neal, who hit a bullet past third to score Miller and Abner to make it 5-0.
The lead grew to 6-0 in the third when Allen walked to lead off the inning, and Tucker Martin was brought in as a courtesy runner. He scored when Miller grounded out second to first.
Miller took over on the mound in the fourth for the Cards. He walked Jon Teague, who then stole second. Ethan Wilson flew out to Abner in center, and Teague tagged up and took off for third. He was safe, but the Cards argued that he left the base early. The umpire agreed, and he was ruled out. Miller then got the next batter to ground out short to first to end the inning.
A four-run fourth gave South Laurel the 10-0 cushion and a chance to end the game early.
Sears led off with a double to left and stole third. Neal walked and stole second, then Martin walked to load the bases with no outs for Moore. Sears scored on a passed ball to make it 7-0. Moore popped out to first to bring Allen to the plate. He walked to again load the bases for Matthew Slavey, who flew out to center but Neal scored on the plate. When Miller reached on an error, Martin and Allen both scored to make it 10-0.
Morris came in to pitch the fifth, striking out two of the three batters he faced as South Laurel came away with the win.
“We put the ball in play tonight and ran the bases well,” Harris said.
The Cards traveled to face Williamsburg last night and will be on the road at Harlan County Friday before returning home to host Somerset Saturday.