LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Pitching and defense carried the South Laurel Cardinals to a 10-0 win over visiting Pulaski County Thursday.
Daniel Neal was stellar on the mound, allowing just two hits while striking out four in his five innings of work. Afterward, Coach Wynn Harris praised his pitcher’s performance.
“Daniel dominated and set the tone early in the first two innings, “Harris said. “And our offense was able to get behind him and score runs.”
The Cardinals (9-1) also played flawless in the field.
“That’s back-to-back games where we’ve played well defensively,” Harris said. “We are starting to clean things up, and we’ve got to be consistent every night defensively, especially against good teams.”
South Laurel scored two runs in the bottom of the first off Pulaski starter Taylor Hurt. Trey Martin led things off with a walk and stole second. Neal then singled to left to drive Martin in. Tucker Martin came in to run for the South pitcher. A single by Zach Allen moved Martin to third and Allen took second on the throw to third. Martin scored on a groundout to short by Taylor Morris to make it 2-0.
Neal set the Maroons (3-9) down in order in the first and second innings. Pulaski’s lone hits came in the third and fourth innings on singles by Hurt and Blake Burton.
Meanwhile the Cardinals blew things open in the bottom of the second when they scored five runs on three hits to take a commanding 7-0 lead.
Like the first inning, the leadoff batter (Austin Vigeant) walked, and like in the first inning, that would come back to haunt the Maroons when Vigeant scored on a single by Trey Martin. A two-run single by Neal drove in Martin and Derek Spurlock, who had singled earlier. Allen then singled to drive in Tucker Martin (running for Neal), and he would come around to score on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Brennan Miller to make it 7-0.
The Cards ended the game with the mercy rule in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs off new pitcher Kyle Payton to make it 10-0.
Vigeant led off with a single, then with one out, Joe Gaines laid down a perfect bunt single to put runners on first and third. Vigeant scored when Trey Martin reached on an error. Neal also reached on an error to load the bases for Allen, who was now facing another pitcher in Jacob Denney. Allen hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Gaines to make it 9-0. South’s final run came on a single to right by Morris that drove in Trey Martin to make the final 10-0.
The Cards are scheduled to host Whitley County tonight, then travel to take on the Colonels Tuesday.