By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel has found the formula to beat Corbin starter Kevin Goins.
“That’s the second time we’ve seen (Goins) on the mound and we scored two runs on him both games. He does an excellent job locating, working in, out, up and down.. He changes speeds. He’s a difficult guy to get a run together on,” North Laurel coach Darren McWhorter said.
Two runs were enough for a 2-0 win Friday with Logan Mallory tossing a shutout. North Laurel also won an earlier meeting against Goins, 2-1.
Mallory allowed six hits and struck out four in earning the complete game win. He did not walk a batter, but did hit two.
Although McWhorter gave Mallory a high grade for the shutout, he thought his sophomore starter threw better in his previous outing, a 6-1 win over Knox Central.
“He was throwing a lot harder against Knox,” McWhorter said. “He missed up with more pitches (Friday). When they got their hits it was when he would miss up on a ball.”
The Redhounds did put together some strong threats. They left two runners stranded in the third inning and the bases loaded in the fourth. Two more runners reached in the sixth inning. Mallory kept coaxing ground balls and the Jaguars kept making the plays.
North Laurel’s only error came with one out in the seventh inning and was quickly erased with another ground ball.
“He got the bases loaded one time and worked his way out of it. Even there late with the error, you never know what can happen late in the game. You get a guy on with an error and usually a bloop or a hit comes right behind it. We were lucky to get the ground ball and the double play to end it,” McWhorter said.
North Laurel found the scoring column early. Marcus Carson led off with a first-inning double, which usually means a run.
“When he gets on there early he’s able to steal and get into scoring position without us having to do stuff,” McWhorter said.
A fly ball moved Carson to third and a squeeze bunt by Ethan Maxey brought him home. The Jaguars would only get two more runners to second base the rest of the night. One of those would be in the fourth inning when Weston Griebel led off with a triple to the deepest part of the park. The relay throw to third sailed into the dugout to allow Griebel to score. Griebel and Austin Thompson both had a pair of hits for North Laurel Friday.
“(Griebel) is a player. He’s a hitter. Him and Marcus are a lot alike. You can put them at shortstop and they’re going to make plays and get people out. You can put them at first, second, and third. Anywhere on the field,” McWhorter said.
Carson actually moved from the outfield to first base for Friday’s game to save his arm from long throws. Carson was expected to start on the mound Saturday against Harlan County. The Jaguars were also scheduled to play Williamsburg Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader.
The Jaguars have now won five straight games, their longest streak of the season. Four of those games they have held the other team scoreless.
“I told them that this was a complete team win,” McWhorter said.