There are just some nights when everything goes right. And that’s what happened to the West Jessamine Colts baseball team in their season-opening trouncing of Casey County on Tuesday.
Even then, though, the skipper spots things that has him believing otherwise in spite of winning 18-0 with a “bevy of runs on a number of hits,” in the public address announcer’s words.
“I don’t think we’re real sharp,” said West head coach Jody Hamilton. “They helped us quite a bit. We didn’t take advantage of some of their mistakes.”
The first inning displayed some of what Hamilton referred to with a strikeout here, a flyout there.
But, the Colts did manage to put six runs on the Rebels in the bottom of the first with much help from senior Tyler Adams, who scored two base runners on a double.
“I thought (Adams) swung the bat really well,” Hamilton said. “On his first at bat, he got the double that got us going really well. Then he come with the single up the middle.”
Senior Matt Yeich allowed two runners to get on base in the top of the first but closed things out before being pulled in favor of junior Daulton Peters in the second.
Peters, having just entered baseball after basketball season, “had good stuff,” according to Hamilton, “but didn’t locate it real well.”
West bats supported his case in the bottom of the second as they reeled off nine runs to jump out to a 15-0 lead by the inning’s conclusion.
The inning got under way with junior Justin King getting hit by a pitch. Junior Jake Purkins pushed him across during the next at bat with an RBI triple and followed up with a run on a passed ball by the Rebels.
Adams and junior Jarred Jones also scored on passed balls. The ninth run of the inning came across when senior Lee Patrick connected on a pitch for an RBI single.
The emergence of a new pitcher after each inning became a trend for Hamilton. Rebel batters saw sophomore Maxx¿Mahon in the top of the third, sophomore Joseph Ivey in the fourth, and Jones to conclude the Colts’ victory on a double play.
“I just wanted to get them some work,” Hamilton said. “A lot of times it’s better to get your bullpen in this way, and everybody got to get an inning in and get ready for this weekend.”
Mahon’s pitching in the third inning got the eye of the coach, who thought he in particular was “real sharp” while tacking on a strikeout to the Colts’ box score.
The bottom of the fourth, West’s last inning of offensive production, became an opportunity for Hamilton to incorporate younger players such as sophomore Hunter Miner, who collected an RBI double, scoring sophomore Josh Blancet. Miner scored run number 17, and Mahon ended run production with an RBI single, bringing junior Jordan Ivey home.
“Any time you can get enough runs to give everybody a chance to hit once or twice that doesn’t normally get a varsity at bat, it’s really nice,” Hamilton said.
Before they make their way to Vero Beach, Fla., the Colts take to the road for what Hamilton considered three challenging games against Lexington Christian Academy, Woodford County and Ballard. The Colts dropped one of their six losses last year to LCA 3-2.
“It’s going to get a little different here in the next three games,” Hamilton said. “We know we got to get better.”
Of Tuesday’s win, Hamilton said, “We did what we had to do. They’re a very young team; that’s obvious just looking in their eyes.”
With more difficult competition on the road ahead, Hamilton said the team’s focus remains due to the name on the opposition’s jersey.
“Our schedule keeps us motivated,” he said.