LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
WILLIAMSBURG—For the second straight game, the South Laurel Cardinals defeated Whitley County in 50th District baseball action.
And for the second straight game, a Cardinal pitcher went the distance to pick up the win, 4-0.
This time it was Daniel Neal, who fanned eight and walked just two while allowing four its in seven innings of work.
“We’re getting ahead and that allows us to pitch complete games,” South Laurel coach Wynn Harris said. “That’s the key. It takes a lot of pressure off us as a team and leaves us a lot of options throughout the game.”
South Laurel (13-2, 2-0) jumped on top in the second inning, scoring twice for the early 2-0 lead. The Cards would add one more in the third, then their final run in the seventh to complete the 4-0 shutout.
Taylor Morris led off the top of the second by drawing a walk off Whitley County (11-6, 0-2) pitcher Tyler Downs. He would steal second and advance to third on a passed ball before scoring on a single off the bat of Brennan Miller. With a 2-0 count on Braden Miller, Downs was pulled from the game and relieved by Jordan Crussenberry. Miller greeted him with a double to left to score his brother and make it 2-0.
The Cards made it 3-0 in the third when Trey Martin reached on an error and scored on a single to right by Neal.
Whitley County had its chances to score, leaving two runners on in the third, the bases loaded in the fourth, and runners on third in the fifth and sixth innings, but could never get that hit to drive them home. Neal worked his way out of each and every jam.
“We are throwing a lot of quality strikes, which is something we talked about ready in the year,” Harris said. “We are not giving in because they got baserunners on. I feel confident that one run is not going to beat us, and if it does we’ve got to do a better job offensively.”
South’s final run came in the top of the seventh as Austin Vigeant laced a single to right-center and advanced to second when Whitley was slow to get to the ball. He scored on a Trey Martin single to make it 4-0. Neal then struck out the side in the bottom of the inning.
“We just need to continue to make plays defensively, get good pitching and put the ball in play,” Harris said.
The Cards were scheduled to host Knox Central Thursday night, then travel to take on North Laurel tonight.