Harrison County baseball coach Mac Whitaker is not a happy man.
With just more than a week and a half left in the regular season, his Thorobreds have still not shown the consistency, especially at the plate, that his previous championship teams have had.
Tuesday night on the Hilltop, his Thorobreds were soundly defeated by visiting Tates Creek, 9-1, as their season record slipped to 15-7.
“The kids we are counting on to hit in clutch situations are just not delivering,” said Whitaker. “They are not making the adjustments they need to make against good pitching… It is very discouraging.”
Malcolm Thomas provided the lone run of the game for the Breds with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the first inning, but that proved to be the extent of the Harrison County offense.
Logan Jackson of Tates Creek pounded three of his team’s four home runs as the fourth-ranked Commodores improved to 14-4 on the year.
Jackson’s two-run homer in the third inning gave Tates Creek the lead for good. He followed with another two-run blast in the fifth and a solo homer in the sixth. Abe Mitchell also had a two-run homer in the fifth inning as seven of Tates Creek’s runs came via the long ball.
“Their pitchers were throwing 85 to 90 and ours are throwing in the mid 70s,” said Whitaker. “We hit their pitchers, but don’t get a key hit that will put runs on the board. On the other hand, our pitchers don’t hit their spots and throw location and their hitters tee off on us.”
For the game, Tates Creek pounded out 18 hits, including eight for extra-bases. The Thorobreds were limited to just six hits on the night and left seven runners on base.
The loss to Tates Creek was the second in less than a week to a ranked Lexington School.
Last week, the Breds traveled to 15th ranked Henry Clay and were shut-out 1-0.
In that loss, the Breds surrendered a single first inning run, but that proved to be enough. Harrison County had a total of six singles, including a pair of one-out singles in the sixth inning with just one out, but failed to find a way to score a run.
Mason Fowler started on the mound for the Breds, but faced just two batters. After Corey Bays led off the game with a double and Ethan Boggs followed with a walk, Fowler was lifted for Ryan Durbin. Durbin finished the contest and allowed only two hits the rest of the way.
“Ryan pitched great and gave us a chance, but once again, we just are unable to find a way to hit in the clutch and score runs,” said Whitaker.
On Monday, visiting Harrison County took out some of its frustrations on Scott County and came home with a 9-2 win.
Logan Dailey pitched a complete game to earn the win for the Breds. He gave up two fifth inning runs to spoil the shut-out, but scattered seven hits, struck out seven and didn’t issue a walk.
Offensively, Shane Fowler delivered a couple of key hits for the Thorobreds. He followed Christian Chasteen’s second inning lead-off triple with a triple of his own to score the first run of the game. He later scored on a single by Drew Thompson to give Harrison County a 2-0 lead.
The Breds added two more runs in the third inning on a ground out by Johnson Garrison and a single by Jared Martin.
After the Breds extended the lead to 6-0 with a pair of unearned runs in the fourth inning, Fowler struck again in the fifth. Fowler blasted a two-run homer in the inning after Chasteen led off with a walk.
Weather permitting, Harrison County has eight more regular season games remaining. Last night, they were to have played at Scott High in Northern Kentucky, the site of this year’s 10th Region Tournament.
This weekend, Harrison County is scheduled to travel to Bullitt East for a tournament. In the round-robin tournament, the Breds are to play Lexington Catholic on Friday night at 7:30 then meet Bullitt East on Saturday morning at 10, followed by matching up with Trinity at 3 p.m.
Next week, the Breds conclude the regular season with four games, three of which will be on the Hilltop. Monday the Breds host Bishop Brossart. Tuesday they go to Campbell County. Wednesday they host Woodford County and Friday they wrap up the regular season with a repeat engagement with Scott County.
Harrison County will be hosting the 38th District Tournament this year. The top-seeded Breds will open the tournament on Monday, May 18, against fourth seeded Deming at 6 p.m.
On Tuesday, May 19, Nicholas County and Pendleton County will play, with the winners of the first round contests squaring off on Wednesday, May 20, for the tournament championship, also at 6 p.m.