Mt. Vernon —
A strong pitching performance by senior hurler Austin Cornett, and some timely hits in the early goings, helped the top-seeded Pulaski County High School Maroons (11-24) down Casey County 7-1 in the opening round of the 47th District Baseball Tournament on Monday.
“Austin Cornett has pitched well almost every night he has been out on the mound,” Pulaski coach Danny Masten said. “We haven’t always given him run support, but we did tonight. He’s pitched well all season, he gave us a chance to win tonight and he came through for us.”
Cornett, who had thrown a perfect game against Casey County last month, kept the Rebels at bay again by striking out 10 Rebel batters and scattering out 6 hits. Cornett was recognized by the Kentucky House of Representatives for his ‘no-no’ perfect game against the Rebels back on April 24.
On Monday night, the only hiccup in Cornett’s pitching performance came in the opening inning, when Casey’s Blaine Sharp singled to right field to score Jonathan Gillock, and give the Rebels a short-lived 1-0 lead.
However, the Maroons’ bats came to life early as Pulaski scored all seven of their runs in the first four innings to give Cornett all the cushion he needed to finish off the district tournament win.
In the first inning, the Maroons tied the game at 1-1 when Jacob Denney singled to centerfield to score Blake Burton.
Pulaski added three more runs in the second inning to up their lead to 4-1. Taylor Hurt doubled to left center to score Logan Wesley (running for Devin Vaught). Burton singled to right field to score Hurt. Later, Aaron Smith reached on an infield single to score Hagan Elmore.
Then in the fourth inning, Burton singled to right field to score Kevin Neal (running for Cornett). Burton later scored on a Casey County passed ball and Aaron Smith scored on a Rebels’ errant throw in the infield.
“We didn’t hit the ball real well tonight, but we took advantage of their mistakes,” Masten said. “I have always told our team to make the routine plays and take advantage of everything before you, and that is what we did tonight.”
Strong defensive plays by the Maroons and a flurry of strikeouts by right-hand hurler Cornett, in the late innings, helped the Maroons punch their ticket to the District 47 Championship Game against cross-town rivals Somerset – which was played last night at Rockcastle County.
PULASKI CO. 7, CASEY CO. 1
CC 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 1
PC 1 3 0 3 0 0 x - 7
2B - Hurt (PC).
RBI - Denney, Hurt, Burton 2, Smith (PC); Sharp (CC).
Runs Scored - Burton 2, Wesley, Hurt, Elmore, Neal, Smith (PC); Gillock (CC).
Hits - Burton 2, Smith 2, Denney, Johnson, Hurt (PC); Gillock, Goode, Sharp, Campbell, C. Price, D. Price (CC).
Errors - CC 2, PC 1.
Runner Left on Base - CC 8, PC 5.
WP - Cornett (PC); Gillock (CC).
Strikeouts - Cornett 10 (PC); Gillock 3 (CC).