Prep Baseball: Garrard gains confidence with 10-1 win over Burgin
Garrard County shortstop Seth Murphy throws to first base after forcing out Burgin's Tommy Lopresto at second base during the second inning of Garrard's 10-1 victory Tuesday. (Mike Marsee)
The young Golden Lions are looking for wins and confidence wherever they can get them, and the sooner the better. And coach Doug Simpson said they took a step in the right direction Tuesday, when they defeated Burgin 10-1 for their second victory in three games.
Simpson told his players before they took the field that this was an important game, and he said afterward that all of them will be important as the Lions try to mature and improve.
“It’s a big game for us. Every game is important for us. We’ve got a lot of young players, a lot of freshmen, a lot of sophomores, and we need to come out prepared for every game and stay focused,” Simpson said. “You never know what can happen. The other team might come out flat like they did today, and you might end up pulling off a win.”
Garrard (2-1) won this game by scoring all nine of its runs in four consecutive innings while starting pitcher Caleb Harris kept Burgin (0-2) in check.
Harris scattered six hits over the first five innings, and he struck out five batters and walked only one in his six innings on the mound.
“Caleb did a really good job pitching,” Simpson said. “He controlled the game and threw a lot of first-pitch strikes. I don’t know exactly how many, but I’d say it was above 60 percent. That’s what we look for in our pitchers.”
Harris, a sophomore, has been the winning pitcher in both of the Lions’ victories. He threw five innings in their 13-6 win over Berea a week ago.
“He controlled the game, the same as he did tonight,” Simpson said. “He’s a quality young man and a quality pitcher, and he’s got a bright future for us.”
It was the second loss in as many days for Burgin, which is an even younger team than Garrard. Five of the 13 Bulldogs in uniform Tuesday were eighth-graders, and two of them were in the starting lineup.
The mistakes of youth were manifested in six errors, two walks and a hit batsman that helped Garrard extend its scoring innings. The Lions also had nine of their 10 hits in those four innings, but four of their runs were unearned.
“We’ve got to make the routine plays. We had some balls hit at some gloves tonight; we just didn’t catch them,” Burgin coach Greg Harlow said. “We don’t have a deep pitching staff anyway, so we can’t give them four or five outs an inning. We’ve got to make plays and stretch the game out for our pitchers.”
Burgin starter Hunter Harrison allowed two runs on two hits in four innings, stranding five runners in the first three innings.
“Our pitchers pitched well enough tonight that they shouldn’t have got beat 10-1,” Harlow said.
Garrard tied the game in the fourth inning when Evan Smith reached on an error and scored on J.T. Lyon’s single and took the lead moments later when Travis Purcell scored on the back of a delayed double-steal.
Jared Meadows and Matt Wilburn had two hits each for the Lions, and Wilburn and Purcell had three RBIs each.
“I’m proud of our players. They did a good job, and this is a quality win,” Simpson said.
Burgin took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Harrison singled and pinch-runner Tommy Lopresto stole second and scored on Mason Myers’ single. Harrison had two hits for the Bulldogs.
“We are putting the bat on the ball, and that’s encouraging,” Harlow said. “We’ll just continue to work hard and grow and learn and hopefully be competitive every game — for a full game.”
Garrard County 000 243 1 — 10 10 1
Burgin 100 000 0 — 1 6 6
Caleb Harris, Matt Wilburn (7) and Ronnie Saylor. Hunter Harrison, Dylan Coulter (5), Mason Myers (6), Austin Shewmaker (6) and Shewmaker, Harrison (5). W—Harris. L—Harrison. 2B—Jared Meadows (GC).