By Michael Childers
For The Times-Tribune
SOMERSET — After having Mother Nature cancel their game against Rockcastle County on Monday night, the Southwestern Warriors baseball team returned to action on Friday evening against Whitley County at Warrior Stadium.
The Warriors were able to bounce back from Saturday’s 4-1 loss to South Laurel, as they downed the Whitley County Colonels by a final tally of 8-0. The eight-run victory over visiting Whitley County allowed Southwestern to move to 2-1 on the year.
Third-year Warrior skipper Alex Eaton felt that Friday’s win was his team’s best performance of the 2013 high school baseball season.
“I felt like we came out with the best mindset that we’ve had all-year,” began Eaton. “I think Saturday’s loss to South Laurel got the attention of some of the guys. If that didn’t get their attention, then I don’t know what will.”
Southwestern jumped out to an 8-0 lead after three innings over the Colonels and never looked back. After taking an eight-run lead, Eaton put in some youngsters to get some experience.
“We probably could have finished the game sooner, but I wanted to see what some of our guys could do, both on the mound and at the plate,” told the Southwestern baseball coach. “We did what we needed to do to allow those guys to get some playing time. I started making changes after the third inning, when we led, 8-0.” Sophomore Jacob Burchett, who led the contest off with a double, scored the Warriors’ first run of the evening on an RBI double from senior Logan Starnes. Freshman Trevor Howard would score on a passed ball, putting the Warriors ahead, 2-0, after one inning in the books.
In the bottom of the third frame, the Warriors tallied six runs to run out to an 8-0 advantage over the Colonels. Trevor Howard and Starnes both scored on a single from senior Zach Profitt, putting Southwestern ahead by four runs at 4-0.
Junior Christian Strack, pinch-running for senior Thomas Howard, ran across the plate for the Warriors’ fifth run of the night on a single from Wyatt Burton. Profitt, Jesse Meece and Burton would all later score on a three-run triple from Burchett.
Thomas Howard, who pitched four innings, got the victory for the Warriors. The senior gave up two hits and struck out one batter in a shutout performance.
“Thomas had three good innings for us, and one where he was too precise,” told Eaton. “He’s key to our success. When he steps on the mound, he’s got to go after guys.”
Following Howard, Burton pitched the fifth and sixth innings for the Warriors. In the two-inning stint, Burton gave up zero hits. Vincent Boils struck out two batters in his one-inning performance.
“Wyatt came in and pitched 10 pitches in two innings,” said Eaton. “We hadn’t got a chance to see him yet. Boils came in and closed the door for us.”
The Warriors (2-1) returned to action yesterday on the road at Clay County. Southwestern will host Adair County tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. at Warrior Stadium.
Southwestern 8, Whitley County 0
Whitley County 000 000 0 - 0 2 4
Southewestern 206 000 X - 8 8 3
WP – Thomas Howard (SW)
LP – Crusenberry (WC)