Questions abound about the 2009 edition of the Harrison County Thorobreds baseball team. Will they be able to score runs? Will they be able to find an ace starting pitcher to replace Brandon Martin? Will their defense hold up?
After the first two games of the regular season on Monday and Tuesday of this week, the answers are yes, yes and yes.
Harrison County, ranked eighth in the state in the coaches’ pre-season poll, routed host Owen County on Monday, 18-0, then came back on Tuesday with a less-than-inspired 5-1 home opening win over Deming.
In the two games, Harrison County has pounded out five home runs and collected a combined 27 hits. Its pitching has allowed one earned run and total of three hits and its defense has yet to commit an error.
“Obviously, we have not played two ranked teams, but we have taken care of what we can take care of,” said Harrison County coach Mac Whitaker. “I was most pleased with the way we came out and hit the ball on Monday.”
In that game, Harrison County jumped on Owen County early and didn’t let up.
Junior outfielder Shane Fowler got his season off to a good start when he slugged the first pitch he saw over the center field fence for a three-run homer in the first inning on Monday. Before the first inning ended, Harrison County smacked two more homers. Taylor Hill had a two-run blast and Christian Chasteen had a three-run homer in the eight-run inning.
In the second inning, Josh Moss added a three-run homer of his own and the Breds scored nine more runs to take a 17-0 lead.
Dustin Sellers came off the bench to double in Drew Thompson in the third inning for the Breds’ final run.
On the mound, Logan Daily earned the win, going the first two innings. He retired all six batters he faced, striking out three.
“I think everybody we brought, got in the game”, said Whitaker. “It was good to get out there and play, I know the kids were glad to start playing games.”
On Tuesday, Harrison County took some time to get started and actually trailed Deming 1-0 going into the home half of the fourth inning.
Deming’s Rex Schalk and Ethan Earlywine singled leading off the fourth inning with Schalk scoring on a ground out by Jerry Cummins.
Harrison County answered with two runs in its half of the fourth inning to take the lead for good.
Matthew Dye delivered a two-out, two-run single to give the Breds the lead.
An inning later, Harrison County added two more runs. After Fowler led off with a single and stole second, Jared Martin pounded a triple to right-center for one run. Later in the inning, Martin scored after a sacrifice fly to short right field by Hunter Hill.
Dye added the final run of the night with a solo homer to left field in the sixth inning.
Dye pitched the first two innings for the Breds, striking out six and walking one. Sellers came on in relief and earned the win for the Breds. Thompson and Jordan Martin pitched the last three innings for the Breds.
Harrison County was supposed to play Pendleton County on the road last night, and will take on Fleming County at home on Friday, before heading to Pensacola, Fla., for spring break.
After a weekend of rest and relaxation, Harrison County will play four straight days next week before heading home. They are scheduled to play on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, before making their way back to Cynthiana.