By John Stepp For The Times Tribune
A three-run six inning propelled the South Laurel Cardinals to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Whitley County Colonels in Monday night's 50th District baseball action.
Joe Gaines, Daniel Neal and Zach Allen all reached base and scored in the bottom of the sixth, putting the Colonels on their heels and ultimately giving South Laurel its first district win of the season.
"Whitley County is a solid ball club. They're 11-4 and are a good team," South Laurel Coach Wynn Harris said. "They are well coached and do a lot of things well. It was a good win for us and a good way to start off our district schedule."
It was a pitcher's duel for much of the game, with the Cardinals' Austin Vigeant picking up the win. The senior pitched a complete game, while allowing just two hits and striking out eight batters.
"We got a good pitching performance from Austin Vigeant. He has done that for us all year," said Harris. "Defensively, we played well. That has to be our mode of operation — throw strikes and play solid defense."
South Laurel got on the board first, when Trey Martin reached first on an error to lead off the game. Martin would score just two batters later from a double from Neal, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead after one inning of play.
The Colonels answered in the top of the second inning when senior Jordan Crusenberry led off the inning with a double and later scored on a South Laurel throwing error, tying the game at a run apiece.
Whitley County pitcher Stevie Watson held the Cardinals in check through five innings, allowing just three hits, but a five-hit sixth inning turned out to be the difference, as South Laurel finally came alive at the plate.
"We started hitting the ball much better at the end of the game. Joe Gaines got us started there in the sixth inning and we were able to string some hits together," said Harris. " They got a gem of a game from Watson and we were fortunate to get his pitch count up and put some runs on them late."
With the win, South Laurel improves to 12-2 on the season. The Colonels fall to 11-5.
By John Stepp For The Times Tribune
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