LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
For five innings Monday night South Laurel and Whitley County were hooked up in an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel.
The score was tied 1-1 as South’s Austin Vigeant and Whitley’s Stevie Watson waged a magnificent battle on the mound.
Then came the bottom of the sixth.
South Laurel scored three times to take a 4-1 win and start off district play with a win.
“You have only six district games so you have to make each one of them count,” South Laurel coach Wynn Harris said. “Their guy threw a gem of a game. He just got a little tired in the sixth inning and left some balls up in the zone. We started putting the ball in play.”
Joe Gaines got things going by beating out a bunt single. He stole second and advanced to third on a hard hit single to right by Daniel Neal. Both runners came home on a double to left by Zach Allen for a 3-1 lead. Allen came home when Brennan Miller doubled to right to make the final 4-1.
“Joe’s starting to get his timing back after coming off surgery earlier in the season,” Harris said. “He can hit or bunt. He got us started in the sixth.”
South Laurel (12-2, 1-0) scored first, in the bottom of the first, when Trey Martin led off by reaching on an error and scored on a double by Daniel Neal for the 1-0 lead.
Whitley County (11-5, 0-1) quickly answered in the top of the second, tying the game at 1-1 when Jordan Crussenberry led things off with a single to left and Austin Ysidro reached on an error. Crussenberry scored on a double steal when the throw to third got past Neal to knot the score at 1-1. The Colonels left three runners on base in the first two innings before Vigeant settled down and retired the side on strikes in the third.
“That’s the second game where Vigeant struggled early in the first two innings before coming back and settling down,” Harris said. “He pitched another complete game for us and we need to get that kind of performance from him.”
The Colonels would get only one more batter on base, a single by Crussenberry in the fourth, but he was caught in a rundown between home and third. Vigeant kept Whitley County at bay the remainder of the game.
“It was a big win for us,” Harris said. “Defensively we played a pretty good game.”
Over the weekend the South Laurel Cardinals played three games, going 2-1.
Friday night the Cards rolled over host Harrison County, 11-0, behind Neal, who smacked a two-run homer and scored three runs. Trey Martin scored twice, as did Brennan Miller and Vigeant. Taylor Morris also scored a run.
South scored four in the first, five in the third and two in the seventh. Braden Miller was the winning pitcher.
On Saturday South traveled to George Rogers Clark for a doubleheader, winning the first game, 4-0, but dropping the second game, 4-1.
In the first game Trey Martin was the winning pitcher and he also scored two runs. Zach Allen had a single and run scored, and Derek Spurlock scored in the win. In the second game Trey Martin scored the lone South Laurel run.
The Cardinals were scheduled to play at Whitley County Tuesday night and host Knox Central Thursday.