LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel recovered from a tough loss to Clay County Tuesday with a 6-1 win over Hazard Wednesday.
“It all starts out there on the mound. Ethan threw well, locating pitches and changing speeds,” North Laurel Coach Darren McWhorter said.
Eversole allowed just four hits and three walks. One walk came in a scoreless first inning. The other two walks came in the seventh and led to the Bulldogs’ only run.
“His innings were going one-two-three for the most part. He wasn’t throwing many pitches and was getting them to hit pop ups and little grounders,” McWhorter said.
The Jaguars also played errorless a night after committing five errors in the loss to Clay County.
“It’s good to bounce back after a disappointing loss, especially in a district seeding game. It’s good to see them focus and snap out of it,” McWhorter said.
Bouncing back is something this North Laurel team has done well. After their first loss to Bryan Station, they came back with a 10-1 win over McCreary Central. A loss to Grove City, Ohio, in Florida was followed by a 15-5 win over St. Dominic, N.Y.
“You’re going to lose game,” McWhorter said. “It’s how you come back and bounce back from those things. These guys have played long enough to know one game is not going to make or break a season,” McWhorter said.
North Laurel threatened early, but didn’t scratch out a run until the third inning. Zach Hurley led off the inning with a single. Marcus Carson grounded into a fielder’s choice to swap places with Hurley. Singles from Zack Storm and Eversole loaded the bases. Unlike a night earlier, the Jaguars were getting runners on base and then finding a way to score them.
“That’s what you’ve got to do and that’s what we didn’t do at all last night. We had a hard time even getting guys on,” McWhorter said.
Ryan Shears drove in the first run by punching a single to right field. John Evans grounded out, but putting the ball in play was enough to score another run.
North Laurel made it a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning on a two-run single by Storm. Hazard elected to pitch to the Jaguars; slugger with two runners on and first base empty.
That appeared to be plenty of runs the way Eversole was throwing. He would retire nine straight batters beginning in the fourth inning. For insurance, the Jaguars pushed another pair home in the sixth inning. Carson legged out an infield single and scored on a single by Storm. Shears drove in the final run with a sacrifice fly.
Hazard finally scratched out a run in their final at bat. A pair of walks and an infield hit kept Eversole from getting a shutout.
McWhorter said he was pleased with the way his team responded after the loss to Clay County.
“You don’t want to peak too early. These games we lose here and there early on, that’s just baseball. You want to be peaking at the end,” McWhorter said. “Hopefully, we’ve not hit our peak yet.”