By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Not a bad way to start a season.
The South Laurel Cardinals banged out 14 hits while three pitchers combined to throw to one-hitter as the Cardinals rolled over Clay County, 10-2.
“A good start to the season,” South Laurel coach Wynn Harris said. “By no means perfect but there were a lot of positives and we had some guys step up.”
The Cards got on the board first, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first in a game that was played at North Laurel due to South Laurel’s field sustaining weather damage.
Trey Martin led things off with a double to left, followed by a Daniel Neal single off Clay starter Tyler Allen. Zach Allen then grounded out to first, scoring Martin for a 1-0 lead. Neal then scored when Braden Miller doubled to center. Miller was also the winning pitcher, going four innings, allowing no runs on no hits.
It stayed 2-0 until the bottom of the fourth when the Cardinals tacked three more runs on the board to make it 5-0.
Derek Spurlock led off with a double to left and scored when Trey Martin singled. After Allen struck out for the second out of the inning, Braden Miller walked to load the bases for Taylor Morris, who lined an infield single off the pitcher’s glove, scoring Martin. Brennan Miller then fanned but the ball got away from the Clay County catcher, which allowed Neal, who had walked earlier, to score for the 5-0 advantage.
Trey Martin took over on the mound in the top of fifth, walking the first batter he faced, then allowing Clay’s only hit. With two runners on he got the next three batters out to work out of the jam.
South tacked one more run on the board in the bottom of the inning when Trey Martin scored on a double by Neal to make it 6-0.
A walk and error led to Clay County scoring its two runs in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 6-2. But the Cards responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring four to make it 10-2.
With one out, Morris was hit by a pitch and stole second. Brennan Miller then singled to left center to put runners on the corners for Austin Vigeant, who fouled out to third.
Now with two outs, Spurlock singled to drive in a run. Tucker Martin singled to score Miller for an 8-2 lead. After Trey Martin walked to load the bases, Neal continued his hot bat with a single to left that plated two more runs to make it 10-2.
Allen came on to pitch the top of the seventh and retired the side and the Cardinals rolled to the win.
“We did the things we needed to do to win,” Harris said. “We threw strikes and hit longer than they did, which made for a good night. We made some mistakes on the base paths, some of that was my fault, some of it theirs. But I’m happy with our pitchers and offensive production. We did a little bit of everything to score runs tonight.”
The Cards are scheduled to be at Hazard tonight and Somerset Tuesday, a game that was originally scheduled to be a home game but changed due to the field conditions.