Hitting is contagious.
That was the case for the Southwestern Warriors on Saturday afternoon at PC Field, as Alex Eaton and company plated 12 runs on 14 hits to come away with a five-inning, 12-1 win over Pulaski County in the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game.
Eaton, who is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Warriors, was thrilled to see his club break out the bats in their 11-run victory over the crosstown Maroons.
“Offensively, we have kind of been in a lull for the past few weeks, but hitting is contagious,” began Eaton. “When one guy goes, it can literally happen in a day or two. Our guys have been stressing too much, you’ve got to let the game come to you. We came up with three two-out hits with guys in scoring position – we haven’t done that in what seems like months.”
Southwestern jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top half of the opening frame on the strength of a two-run single from Vincent Boils. Jacob Burchett (single) and Trevor Howard (walk) would each score on the hit from Boils.
The Warriors continued to roll in the following frame, plating seven runs to widen the gap to 10-0. After Wyatt Burton, Trevor Stacey, and Chris Lynch all got aboard with singles, Howard a blasted a ball over the left field fence for a grand slam. Later in the inning, Zach Profitt and Hunter Cromer would both score on a two-run single from Stacey.
In the third inning, the Warriors tacked on two more runs to take a 12-0 advantage. Burchett, after reaching on a single, scored on a fly out from Boils. Howard, who also got aboard via a single, tallied Southwestern’s 12th and final run of the ballgame on a single from Profitt.
Pulaski County tallied their lone run of the afternoon in the bottom of the third frame, when Jackson Mobley scored on an RBI double from Aaron Smith to cut the Warrior lead to 12-1.
The Warriors would win the game after five innings thanks to the ten-run mercy rule.
Southwestern had four players record two hits on the day – Burchett, Howard, Cromer, and Stacey. Three players also had at least two RBI’s – Howard (four), Boils (two), and Stacey (two).
Howard, who pitched the first three innings for the Warriors, earned the victory. The Warrior sophomore gave up a lone run on four hits and had six strikeouts in the win. Burton had two strikeouts in a two-inning appearance.
Kyle Payton had half of the Maroons’ hits on the afternoon, as he tallied two hits in the loss. Smith and Mobley had Pulaski County’s other two hits.
Hagen Elmore, an eighth-grader, was saddled with the loss. The Maroon eighth-grader lasted 1 2/3 innings.
It wasn’t the result that third-year Pulaski County head coach Danny Masten wanted.
“We got beat by the better team today,” told Masten. “Hagen struggled early, then we brought in Blake in a tough spot. I wish we could have had a better showing today.”
More importantly, both local teams raised funds and awareness for breast cancer in the annual baseball game.
“This is a big day for Southwestern and Pulaski County baseball, but there are a lot of people who came out today to support a big cause,” said the Warrior coach. “Most of us have been affected by breast cancer in some way, so it’s an honor to be able to play in this. Our prayers go out to the ones who are fighting cancer of any kind right now. We love baseball, but at the end of the day, there are a lot more important things than the game.”
Both the Maroons and Warriors traded in their traditional school colors for pink and white uniforms to show support for breast cancer awareness.
“The Breast Cancer Awareness Game is a great event, and our parents worked hard to put it on for us,” said the Maroon skipper. “The Parkers Mill Fire Department brought out their pink fire truck, so that was pretty cool.”
The Maroons (8-19) traveled to Madison Southern last night. Pulaski County will be on the road tonight as well, heading east to London for a meeting with the North Laurel Jaguars.
Southwestern (17-8) was back in action last night against Rockcastle County. The Warriors will host three-time defending 12th Region champion Mercer County tonight at 6 p.m. at the War Path.
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SW – 3 7 2 0 0 – 12 14 1
PC – 0 0 1 0 0 – 1 4 2
W – Howard (SW)
L – Elmore (PC)
2B – Smith (PC)
HR – Howard (SW)
RBI – Howard 4, Boils 2, Stacey 2, Profitt (SW); Smith (PC)
Hitting is contagious.
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