It took 28 days, 21 outs, and three runs, but at the end of the day the only number that mattered for the Pulaski County Maroons was the number ‘one’.
In a game that started way back on April 3rd that was suspended in the home half of the fourth inning due to inclement weather, the Maroons and their arch-rival Somerset finally finished a game that seemingly was never going to get in the books.
And thanks to an outstanding performance from Aaron Smith, for the first time since the 2004 season, the Pulaski County Maroons were the number one seed in the district — the first time PC has been a number one seed under the realigned 47th District.
“I’m not sure when the last time PC was a number one seed in the district, but I do know it’s been a long, long time,” stated a very happy Maroon head coach Danny Masten.
“I just told the guys that we’ve struggled this year and we’re young, but we’re trying to get better in every game,” added Masten, in referring to his club’s 8-17 season record. “It doesn’t matter what our overall record is — what matters is that we finished district play at 5-1 and we’re the one seed for the upcoming district tournament. That’s all that matters right now.”
Way back on April 3rd when this game originally got underway, PC grabbed a 3-0 lead over the homestanding Briar Jumpers, by plating those three runs in the top of the third inning off of Somerset’s starter and loser Cody Carrender.
Devin Vaught had an RBI single, Cody Johnson’s groundout plated a second run, and Kyle Payton’s RBI singled rounded out the scoring for the Maroons.
That would be all the support that Smith would need in this one.
The Pulaski senior did allow a run in the home half of the third frame thanks to Charlie Dishman’s RBI single, trimming the deficit to 3-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Trae Harmon had a one-out single and Chandler Purcell doubled putting runners at second and third, and that’s when the rains came halting play right there.
Fast forward four weeks to Thursday afternoon.
Smith returned to the mound and gave up one more run in that fourth inning, thanks to a PC error, but that would be it.
Smith only allowed one hit to Somerset over the final three innings of play — a two-out single to Dishman in the seventh inning — holding the lead for a Pulaski victory and a number one seed for the Maroons in the upcoming 47th District Baseball Tournament.
“Obviously, Aaron Smith is a good pitcher and a great competitor, but I felt like we were ahead in the count in a few situations today and we got jammed and hit fly balls,” stated Somerset head coach Phil Grundy after the game.
“That’s happened to us quite a bit over the last two to three weeks, and we keep challenging our kids but they haven’t responded yet,” added the Somerset coach. “I feel like we’re going to get better. We’ve got 10 more games in the regular season and we’re going to put the best nine out there that gives us the best chance to win.”
Both PC and Somerset will be back in action today at home.
Somerset — will host a doubleheader at Charlie Taylor Field today beginning at 11:30 a.m. against Henry Clay. At 3:30 p.m., the Briar Jumpers will host Mercer County.
Pulaski County meanwhile will host arch-rival Southwestern today at PC Field beginning at 3 p.m.
PC — 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 — 3 7 3
SHS — 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 — 2 4 2
DOUBLES — (SHS) Purcell.
RBI — (PC) Vaught, Johnson, Payton. (SHS) Dishman.
WP — Smith
LP — Carrender