By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Logan Mallory’s best pitching performance of the season paced North Laurel to a 6-1 win over Knox Central Monday. The Jaguars’ sophomore struck out 14 and walked only two to improve his record to 2-1 and ERA to 3.00.
“That’s the best game he’s thrown all year. Last night was by far the best,” North Laurel coach Darren McWhorter said.
Mallory could easily be unbeaten with his only loss at Harlan County, a game the Jaguars led 4-1 going into the final inning.
“He had the Harlan game won. He threw well in that game. He threw well enough to win up 4-1 in seventh inning. He’s had a little bad luck,” McWhorter said.
Mallory won two varsity games last year as a freshman, the season opener against Bell County and the final regular season game against Rockcastle. Most of his action last season was on the junior varsity.
“In JV, I’ve seen him, when he’s on, come out and dominate. I knew he was capable,” McWhorter said.
Knox Central took the early lead with a second-inning run on a squeeze bunt. North Laurel took the lead in the bottom of the inning with three runs, including a two-run double by Weston Griebel. McWhorter said his team is starting a trend of responding when the opponent scores.
“We have these last three, four, or five games. When somebody scores in the top or bottom we turn around and score again. That’s always encouraging,” he said.
North Laurel (9-8) also scored three runs in the fifth inning as it won for the fourth time in six games. Both of the losses were by one run to Clay County and South Oldham.
The Jaguars offense also got good games from Ethan Maxey, who reached base four times including a hustle double. Zach Hurley went 2-for-3 with a walk.
Knox Central (9-13) started two eighth graders and five freshmen Monday against the Jaguars.
“They are talented but really young,” McWhorter said. “In a couple of years they are going to be pretty good.”
North Laurel will travel to Barbourville Thursday and host South Laurel Friday.