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After back-to-back losses to John Hardin (4-3) and Barren County (11-10), LaRue County Coach Chris Price was glad to put one in the win column March 29 against the North Hardin Trojans 9-1.
“Slade Owens did a heck of a job keeping the ball down for most of the game,” Price said. “He had two bad innings where he left it up a little and that coincided with the same two innings our defense let down. We were fortunate to get out of those innings giving up only one run. Slade did a nice job of throwing strikes as well. His strike-to-ball ratio was almost 2 to 1.”
The Hawks scored one run in the first inning and four in the second to pull out to a 5-0 lead. Owens, a sophomore, scattered six hits, two walks and one hit batsman in a complete game effort to earn his second win of the year. He allowed one earned run and struck out three.
The Trojans threatened in the third with one out as they loaded the bases with three consecutive singles.
“Our defense made several big plays,” said Price. “We just have to be more consistent and make all the routine plays. It was a much needed win after losing two heartbreakers.”
Loss to Central
Central Hardin junior pitcher Dylan Shoffner completely stifled the LaRue County Hawks March 30 in a 7-0 victory for the Bruins.
“Central Hardin was solid defensively. Their pitcher didn’t walk a batter and they had timely hitting,” said Coach Price. “We made some mistakes defensively and at the plate we struck out entirely too many times. Fourteen of their 21 outs were strike-outs and you just aren’t going to beat anyone striking out that much.”
Sophomore Jesse Johnson took the loss for the Hawks. He gave up four hits, two walks, one hit batsman and three runs – two earned – in three innings. Seniors Brandon Clemons and Jason Carlberg came on in relief of Johnson but both were touched up for two runs. Owens had two of LaRue County’s five singles.
“It very easily could have been a 3 to 2 game against a top two team in the region. We have the ability to compete against anyone in the region but we have to eliminate our mistakes defensively and put the ball in play,” said Price.
The LaRue County Hawks pulled out a 7-6 win over Louisville Fern Creek April 2 at Hodgenville. LaRue used five pitchers and two catchers, giving up only four total hits to outlast the Louisville team.
Trevor Skaggs earned the victory while sophomore Kyle Sheeran pitched the final two innings to earn the save.
Sheeran recorded two hits, two runs, two stolen bases and an RBI. Owens had a triple, a single, a run and an RBI in the victory.
The final out came with the Hawks holding a 7-6 lead, two outs and the bases loaded when Lucas Chaudoin made a diving grab of a shallow fly ball hit into short center field to assure the victory for the Hawks.
The Hawks are participating in the Baseball Beach Bash at Fort Walton Beach, Fla., over spring break.