LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
SOMERSET—North Laurel dropped two of three games in the Scott McAninch Memorial last weekend in Somerset, but coach Darren McWhorter chose to look on the bright side.
“We had a so-called rough weekend over in Somerset, but we came back positive just because we did hit the ball well. We played good defense,” McWhorter said. “We could have very easily won the game with Somerset or the game with Southwestern.”
North Laurel claimed an easy 12-1 win over Cumberland County. Losses to Somerset 8-6 and Southwestern 5-4 could have gone either way.
“Our kids battled and competed and that’s the game. You aren’t going to win them all,” McWhorter said.
The Jaguars showed the most battle against Somerset where they fell behind quickly and then almost rallied for the win.
“We just got off to a rough start against Somerset. We got down 7-0 in the first two innings. We could have very easily been beat in five innings,” McWhorter said. “We got beat 8-5. We kept battling back and fighting back. We had guys on the bases with a chance to tie the game or win it if someone gets a hold of one.”
Somerset scored seven runs in two innings off Logan Mallory, who had been strong all season for the Jaguars.
“He’s been lights out all year. They have a super duper high mound. He was having a hard time it was so high,” McWhorter said.
Byron Rice allowed a run in the third inning and then shut down the Briarjumpers, allowing North Laurel back into the game.
The Jaguars scored four runs in the fourth inning with doubles from Austin Thompson, Jake McWhorter, and Jack Capobianco.
Capobianco also singled to start a rally in the seventh. He would score on a double by Weston Griebel. Zach Hurley followed with a single to make it a two-run game. The threat ended with fly balls from Thompson and Mallory.
Southwestern edged North Laurel 5-4 with the winning run scoring on a squeeze bunt in the sixth inning. The Jaguars beat Southwestern 2-0 in a meeting earlier this season.
“Every ball we hit was right at them. It seems like the hits they got were just to the right or just to the left. I thought we hit it harder,” McWhorter said.
The win over Cumberland County was all North Laurel from the first inning.
North Laurel scored a pair of runs in the first with Thompson blasting an RBI triple. A five-run second inning was highlighted by doubles from Griebel, Rudder, and McWhorter. Rudder singled and scored in the third inning as the lead grew to 8-0.
Cumberland County’s only run came in the fourth inning. They had three straight batters reach base in the inning before Dylan Messer fanned three straight to end the threat.
Walks and an error cost Cumberland County in the fourth inning, but Rudder came through again with a double as four more runs crossed the plate.