Pulaski County downs Warriors in defensive battle

CALEB LOWNDES I CJ

Southwestern High School infielders Ben Howard (left) and Tucker Howard (right) makes a play at second base, as Pulaski County High School base runner Brysen Dugger slides into the bag. Pulaski County won the cross-town baseball game by a score of 2-1.

Friday night at Pulaski, the Maroons baseball team faced the Southwestern Warriors in a cross town rivalry matchup and the Maroons came out on top in a defensive bout.

"Braden Hampton was scheduled to pitch today, but while he was warming up in the bullpen, he's been battling a tweaked oblique, and we had to go ahead and shut him down. Trey Hornsby stepped up," said Pulaski head coach Kent Mayfield. "He's a pitcher and he's always ready to go, but he didn't know he was going to be starting today. We called his number and he came out and really battled for us. It was just a great pitching performance. We did not play well, but the bottom line is we came out with a win. I think the story was Hornsby stepping up in a clutch situation and doing a great job for us."

After giving up a run in his opening inning, freshman Trey Hornsby pitched a great game for the Maroons only allowing two hits and that single run, with four strikeouts in his five innings pitched. Sophomore Brysen Dugger relieved Hornsby in the sixth inning, and fired four strikeouts and did not allow a hit in his two innings pitched for the 2-1 win.

Southwestern pitchers showed out too as senior starting pitcher Riley McBryde pitched five of six innings for the Warriors and allowed just a single hit, two runs, and two walks, with four strikeouts. Junior Travis Burton pitched the final inning and allowed just one hit and struck out one batter.

After a pop out by senior Tucker Howard in the top of the first, freshman Jonas Gallagher reached first on an error by senior short stop Kaleb Adams. Gallagher took second on a wild pitch and then got to third on a ground ball single to left field by McBryde.

Senior Tyler Pumphrey popped up a sacrifice fly to score Gallagher, and then Hornsby closed the top of the first by striking out freshman Wyatt Morgan.

Three batters made contact for Pulaski, but all three were thrown out in the bottom of the first. This trend continued on both sides for the majority of the game.

Later in the bottom of the fourth, a walk on Dugger and sophomore Chance Todd reaching on an error by junior short stop Ben Howard put two Maroon batters on base with no outs. Dugger later scored on error to tie up the game at 1-1.

In that same inning, freshman Wessen Falin, who was courtesy running for Aiden Wesley who singled, scored on a wild pitch to give his Maroons a 2-1 lead.

After that fourth inning, the offenses went silence once again. Southwestern got one last opportunity on offense in the top of the seventh, but Dugger struck out three straight batters for the 2-1 victory.

"We're a young team and we have to do a better job at understanding counts when we're hitting," said coach Mayfield. "We have to know when to be aggressive and have a little bit better two strike approach. I think if we can continue to work on those things, we're going to be in pretty good shape."

The win advanced the Pulaski County Maroons to 9-4 on the season and they will be back in action Monday where they will play Clay County at home. The Southwestern Warriors dropped to 4-9 and will play Adair County on the road this Saturday.

SW 100 000 0 - 1 2 2

PC 000 200 X - 2 2 1

RBI - Pumphrey (SW).

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