By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
After dropping back to back one-run games to district foes Rockcastle County and Somerset in their last two outings, the Pulaski County Maroons got well and got well in a hurry on Thursday afternoon against another 47th District opponent — Casey County.
The Rebels — winless in district play and coming in with an abysmal 4-16 overall record into Thursday’s game — proved to be no match for the homestanding Maroons.
Pulaski County took control of this one early, plating nine runs in the bottom of the first inning off of Casey County’s Nick Goode, and Danny Masten’s club cruised from that point on, downing the Rebels 12-0 in a game shortened to five innings due to the mercy rule.
“We went out today and had a good first inning and put nine (runs) on the board, and that set that tone for the game,” stated a very happy coach Masten, after his club ended the district portion of its schedule with a 4-2 mark against league foes.
“We played good defense today and got a good pitching performance from Tyler Wesley, and we were able to go out and get our fourth district win of the year,” continued the PC coach.
Pulaski County put this issue to rest early, scoring nine runs in the home half of the first inning off of Casey County pitcher Nick Goode, who took the loss after going only one inning on the mound.
And, everybody got in on the act for PC in that decisive first inning — an inning that saw the Maroons send 14 hitters to plate, scoring those nine runs on five hits.
Aaron Smith got the scoring underway almost immediately, tripling in Jacob Denney who led off the rally with a leadoff walk.
Smith’s triple gave Pulaski a very quick 1-0 lead, but there would be much, much more to come from the Maroons.
Henry Lorman singled in a run, Dustin Vaught had an RBI single, Blake Burton doubled in a pair of runs, Denny singled in another run, and Taylor Gover’s sacrifice fly drove in another score.
Austin Cornett was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring home another run, while a Casey County error allowed yet another run to cross the plate for PC.
After that nine-run explosion, this game was basically over.
“We started out in district with a 3-0 record, but we lost those two one-run games in a row, so I told the guys that regardless of the opponent today, this was a district game and we had to come out and be ready to play,” pointed out Masten.
“We treated this like the other two district games — whether we were the favorite or not — it’s still a district a game and you’ve got to play them all the same way,” said Masten. “It was good to get Tyler (Wesley) the win today — we got all three of our senior starters district wins this year, so I feel really good for all of those guys.”
Leading Casey County by that 9-0 margin after one inning of play, the Maroons iced this one away by scoring three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Lorman doubled in a run, Dustin Vaught had an RBI double, and Burton singled in another run, closing out the scoring for the Maroons.
Meanwhile, Tyler Wesley threw a gem against the Rebels, going the distance allowing Casey County only two hits while fanning 10 hitters.
Pulaski County — now 10-8 on the season with the win over the Rebels — will return to action today taking part in the Southeast Kentucky Invitational being hosted by Bell County and Knox Central.
The Maroons will play two games at that event today, taking on Middlesboro and Clay County.
PC will return back home next Tuesday afternoon with a game against North Laurel.
CC — 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 2 3
PC — 9 0 0 4 X — 12 9 0
DOUBLES — (PC) Lorman, Vaught, Burton.
TRIPLES — (PC) Smith
RBI — (PC) Burton 3, Lorman 2, Vaught 2, Cornett, Smith, Gover, Denney.
WP — Wesley
LP — Goode