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The LaRue County Hawks varsity baseball team was very busy last week with five very tough games against good competition, winning one game and losing four.
The Campbellsville Eagles came to Hodgenville May 4 ready to play, defeating the Hawks 6-3. Campbellsville’s Aaron Schwoebel and Brett Kearney held the Hawks to three runs, scattering nine hits over seven innings
Slade Owens led the Hawks with two singles and an RBI; Kyle Sheeran also had two singles and Dave Blair had a single and an RBI. Jesse Johnson picked up the loss for the Hawks going six innings and giving up only six base hits and one earned run but four LaRue County errors allowed the Eagles to score their runs.
“Our defense really let us down against Campbellsville,” said Coach Chris Price. “We just can’t afford to make four errors against a good team and expect to win. Jesse Johnson threw very well and gave us a chance but we just made too many key mistakes especially late in the game.”
It was a different story May 5 when the Hawks defeated the visiting Taylor County Cardinals The Hawks won 2-1 in a nine-inning affair that ended when Kyle Sheeran knocked a deep fly ball to right field with the bases loaded, scoring Cody Waters from third base.
“Taylor County was a big win for us,” said Price. “It was our sixth extra inning game this year and after losing the first two we’ve won three out of the last four.”
Taylor County got on the board first in the top of the third inning when Levi Smith singled, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on a Matt Johns single. The Hawks scored in the bottom of the inning when Sheeran and Meredith both singled, with Sheeran scoring on a Jesse Johnson single.
Owens settled down after the third inning and went the entire distance on the mound for the Hawks, giving up just one base hit the last six innings of the game.
“Slade got better as the game went on and did a great job of limiting his pitches,” said Price. “He threw only 92 pitches in nine innings.”
Neither team scored again until the ninth inning when Matt Smith led off with a single and advanced to second on a Cole Hughes’ sacrifice. After Blair was intentionally walked, Christian Mullins attempted to bunt the runners over but the Taylor County pitcher misplayed Mullins’ bunt to load the bases. With one out, a long fly ball would have scored the runner, winning the game but Kyle Sheeran hit a line shot over the right fielders’ head to win the game.
“I was just looking for something to drive deep in the outfield,” said Sheeran. “I wanted to avoid a ground ball which could have been turned into a double play. As soon as I saw the ball coming in about waist high, I knew I could turn on it, sending it deep into the outfield.”
Mauled by Meade
The Hawks went to Meade County May 5 and suffered a 9-3 setback.
“It was one of those games where we didn’t show up for three innings,” said Price. “Maybe its youth and maybe inexperience, but we are a pretty good team when we come focused and ready to play and we are a pretty bad team when we don’t. In fact it’s 13-2 when we make no more than two errors and 2-7 when we make more than that. We tend to make more errors when our pitchers throw more balls than strikes. Those two things work hand-in-hand. If you are going to get your defense to play for you, you’ve got to keep them awake by throwing strikes. As usual this group never quits. We battled and made some things happen the last three innings but just couldn’t get the big hit to get us back in the game.”
Bearcats bring it
The Anderson County Bearcats came to Hodgenville May 8 defeating the Hawks 7-3 in the Nall’s Specialized Hauling Baseball Classic. Anderson’s Kyle DeLong pitched an excellent game, giving up only two hits and no earned runs, keeping the Hawks off-balance the entire game.
Johnson picked up the loss for the Hawks going five innings and giving up four earned runs. Sheeran’s double in the third inning and Steve Carpenter’s single in the sixth were the only LaRue County hits.
Owensboro outlasts Hawks
In the second game of the Baseball Classic, the Apollo Eagles brought their high ranking and high powered offense to Hodgenville, defeating the Hawks 18-5. Apollo jumped out to a 6-0 lead, scoring five runs in the fourth inning and never looked back.
Hughes got the start on the mound for the Hawks, giving up three hits, two earned runs, but struggled with his control, walking six batters. Offensively the Hawks were led by Brandon Clemons, who doubled and singled, with Blair, Meredith and Sheeran with two singles each. Johnson had a triple and a RBI.
“We hit the ball well, but we made too many mistakes on defense and too many mistakes on the bases to win,” said Price. “We must eliminate the mistakes we are making if we are going to beat a good team. Good teams don’t beat themselves. In almost all the games we have lost this year, we have beaten ourselves.”