LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
BARBOURVILLE—A five-run first inning, along with some stellar pitching from Austin Vigeant, propelled the South Laurel Cardinals to a 6-1 win over Knox Central Thursday.
Vigeant pitched another complete game, his second of the season, allowing one run on two hits while walking three and striking out five.
“Another good outing by Vigeant,” South Laurel coach Wynn Harris said. “If he finds the strike zone and limits his pitches he’s pretty good. He’s starting to get confidence and will be a major asset for us throughout the rest of the season.”
South Laurel (7-0) got to Knox Central starting pitcher Trevor Sanborn early, scoring all six runs off of him in the first two innings of play. They left two runners stranded in the third and fourth innings, but after that, the Cards were held scoreless by Evan Lay from the fourth to the seventh innings.
“We have a tendency to do that, to relax,” Harris said. “But we keep finding ways to keep the other teams down.”
With one out in the top of the first, Sanborn walked Daniel Neal, Zach Allen and Taylor Morris to load the bases for Brennan Miller, who stroked a single to center that scored Neal and Allen for the 2-0 lead. A long fly out to right by Braden Miller brought home Morris, then Vigeant helped his own cause with a single that scored Brennan Miller to make it 4-0. Vigeant advanced to third on an error. Jacob Woolum was brought in as a courtesy runner and scored on a single by Derek Spurlock to give South a 5-0 lead.
Vigeant walked two batters with one out in the bottom of the inning but then settled down and got Brayden Imel to ground into a double play to end the inning.
South scored its final run in the top of the second when Trey Martin led off by reaching on an error. Neal followed with a single, putting runners on first and third. Neal attempted to steal and got caught in a rundown, where he was tagged out, but Martin scored on the play for a 6-0 lead.
Braden Miller singled with one out, and Vigeant doubled in the third inning, but both runners were left stranded. South left two more runners on base in the fourth when Neal and Allen hit back-to-back singles with one out but they were left stranded also.
“We’ve got to understand that when we have runners in scoring position and less than two outs we have to put the ball in play and put pressure on the defense,” Harris said.
The Panthers got to Vigeant in the fifth inning when Jacob Nelson doubled with one out and Drew Mills doubled him in to cut the lead to 6-1. Knox had the bases loaded with two outs but Vigeant got Seth Hill to fly to leave the runners stranded.
“We have to continue to learn from these wins,” Harris said. “We’re not playing perfect but we are playing good baseball.”
The Cards traveled to take on Marion County Friday night and will host the G.J. Smith Classic starting Thursday.