By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Logan Mallory tossed a five-inning no-hitter and the North Laurel offense woke up in the third inning of their 49th District opener to post a 10-0 win over Jackson County.
Early it was the kind of game that makes a coach nervous. The Jaguars couldn’t find a run in the first two innings as the Generals tried to build some momentum.
“You always worry,” North Laurel coach Darren McWhorter said. “What if everything goes just right and everything you hit is right at them. Especially when you leave the bases loaded early, it’s not a good thing when you’re not scoring any runs.”
The Jaguars did leave the bases loaded in a scoreless second inning, but maybe they shouldn’t have. Austin Thompson scored from third base when Byron Rice appeared to beat out an infield hit on a roller down the third base line. Thompson was already in the dugout when the officials called him back to third, ruling the ball hit the batter in the box and was foul.
“It didn’t hit him. It should have been a run right there, but it all evens out,” McWhorter said.
That call would be forgotten when North Laurel figured out Jackson County starter Austin Whitehead.
“That pitcher is a competitor. He will battle out there,” McWhorter said.
Whitehead walked Marcus Carson and Weston Griebel to open the inning. Ethan Maxey reached when his fly ball was dropped in left field, allowing Carson to score the first run. The runs would come easy from there.
“If you get one, then one will lead to two and two will lead to three. He had some guys step up and hit some nice balls,” McWhorter said.
Zach Hurley drove in two runs with a double to left field. Hurley would score on an Austin Thompson single. Austin Rudder followed with an RBI single. A double by Cole Lewis made it a 6-0 game.
Carson led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a triple and scored on a Griebel fly ball. With two outs, Hurley hit his second double. He would score on a wild pickoff throw. Thompson and Rudder drew walks with Thompson scoring on a wild pitch. Rice singled to drive in Rudder for a 10-0 lead.
“We were able to make it a short game, which is nice when you have to play a doubleheader,” McWhorter said.
Mallory retired the side quickly in the fifth; including striking out the last two batters. He finished the night with nine strikeouts and three walks
“He threw well. I told him don’t walk people. That’s what happened last time is they took a lead early on us because of a couple of walks then a couple of hits,” McWhorter said.