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BASEBALL: Knights traveling to North Bullitt for 2 games

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By Gerard Flanagan

Early on in 2018, the Marion County Knights have fallen on some difficult times.
After starting off 2-0, Marion County has gone 1-7 since then, dropping their record to 3-7. Marion County’s only win in that span was against Taylor County, 5-2, in the opening game of the series against the Cardinals last week. Four of the Knights’ losses this season came against stout competition at Dodgertown in Florida.
The Knights opened a three-game series against the Adair County Indians on Monday. The series ends tomorrow in Columbia. Marion County was outscored 21-4 in its two losses against Taylor County.
The Knights go to North Bullitt High School for games against the Spencer County Bears (1:30 p.m., Saturday) and the North Bullitt Eagles (4 p.m., Saturday). Spencer County has a 4-4 record after defeating Atherton 9-8.
Spencer County got its first win streak of the season in wins over Union County and Barren County. The Bears took a 9-0 loss to Trinity - Louisville last Wednesday that snapped that streak. Spencer County was on the receiving end of a no-hitter while Jackson Cole gave up six earned runs and nine hits. Zack Tipton (2-0) and Ethan Glenn (1-0) lead the Bears pitching staff. Tipton has not allowed an earned run in eight innings of work in seven games this season while Glenn has a .68 ERA in 10.1 innings on the mound.
Cole is 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA while Jakob McDaniel and Shane Henderson are 0-1.
Among players with more than 10 at-bats, Caleb Greer leads Spencer County’s batting order with a .389 batting average. He and Patrick Kijinsky - whose .318 BA is second - are tied for the team-leader in hits with seven.
Isaac Dockery has a .300 batting average.
North Bullitt began with six consecutive losses. The Eagles took two losses to McCracken County, 10-3, and Daviess County, 20-2, on Saturday, dropping the Eagles’ record to 2-10.
The Eagles score 5.3 runs per game while giving up 7.9 runs to opponents per game. North Bullitt has allowed 10 or more runs in five games - all losses. The Eagles have put 10 or more runs up twice this season, winning both games.
The Knights head to Campbellsville to take on the Campbellsville Eagles at 5:30 p.m., April 23. The game kicks off a three-game series between the two squads that will conclude district play for both teams. The Eagles sit at 4-5. They ended their series against Adair County with two wins and began a three-game series against Taylor County Monday.
Campbellsville and Marion County also face off on April 24 in Lebanon and April 26 in Campbellsville. Those games also start at 5:30 p.m. The Eagles started this season 0-3.
In the series against Adair County, Brennon Wheeler had a .500 average. Lane Bottoms (.429) and Arren Hash (.400) were second and third hitting. Those three combined for eight RBI’s in that stretch.
Hash (1.17 ERA) and Noah Hughes (5.88 ERA) both went 1-0 against the Indians.

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Knights can’t hold onto lead in 9-5 loss to Rebels
Boyle County wasted little time reclaiming the lead after the Knights took it away in the bottom of the fourth.
The Rebels pushed across four runs in the fifth, enough to give them a 9-5 victory on Friday at Dave Hourigan Field. Boyle County’s first five batters reached base in the fifth. The inning ended when Hunter Mason grounded into a double play with the bases loaded.
“Our focus Friday was on us to get better at those two things and to have better at bats,” Marion County coach Patrick Campbell said. “Our pitching did better and we had a couple miscues defensively but we did swing the bat much better.”
Marion County grabbed a 3-2 lead off RBI singles from Kelly Mattingly and Devon Murphy in the fifth. The Knights scored their first run when Ryan Hayes’ single brought home Dawson McCarthy in the third. McCarthy allowed four earned runs in four innings in a loss. Mattingly and Travis Wiser pitched the final three innings.
Boyle County added three runs in the sixth after the Knights pulled to within one, 6-5, in the bottom of the fifth.
Hayes went 3-3 while Mattingly was 2-3 at the plate.

Knights drop final game against Cards in 13-3 blowout
Dawson Cole had four RBI’s and gave up only two runs on the mound to lead Taylor County to a 13-3 blowout victory over Marion County on Thursday in the final game of the series between the two games.
Taylor County scored six runs in the fifth to break the game open, receiving help from windy conditions that made several fly balls travel farther than usual. That gave Marion County some defensive trouble as they committed five errors in the game.
“We didn’t play very good baseball and we got away from what we have been good at in the past, pitching and defense,” Campbell said.
Hayes took the loss on the mound for Marion County, giving up 11 hits and five earned in 4 1/3 innings. He only had one strikeout. Six Knights each recorded one hit in the game: Luke Thomas, Mattingly, Davis Rafferty, Jacob Spalding, Devon Murphy and Aaron Howard.
Thomas, Spalding and Howard had one RBI each. McCarthy, Luke Abell and Mattingly also saw action on the mound. McCarthy and Abell (2/3 inning pitched each) gave up two unearned runs each while Mattingly gave up an earned run in 1 1/3 innings.

Goodin, White help Taylor County even series in 8-1 win
D.J. Goodin and Tanner White both hit RBI’s to help give Taylor County an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.
Then they did it again... and again.
Goodin went 3-3 with three RBI’s, White went 2-4 with two RBI’s and the Cardinals evened their series against Marion County in an 8-1 win on April 10 in Campbellsville.
“We had some defensive struggles early which led to some runs and extended innings,” Campbell said. “We hit the ball pretty well overall but we couldn’t get the big hit with two outs or the hit we needed to score runs.”
Taylor County took advantage of sloppy Knights field, getting four unearned runs in the game. Collin Watson scattered six hits over 5 2/3 innings to get the win while Rafferty gave up three earned in two innings in a loss.
Wiser was 2-3 at the plate while Thomas went 2-4. Rafferty brought home Marion County’s only run in the game.

Knights open district by rallying to beat Taylor County
With hits scarce in Marion County’s district opener on April 9, the Knights had to be a little resourceful to rally and grab a district win.
Marion County scored all five of its runs in the bottom of the fifth for a 5-2 win over Taylor County on April 9 at Dave Hourigan Field. The Knights were down 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth when Abell drove in a run, Thomas drove in two and Mattingly drove in one during the inning.
“Luke Thomas threw very well on the mound,” Campbell said. “We had a few defensive mistakes that gave up the two runs they scored. Offensively we swung the bat well and continually put the ball in play and put pressure on their defense. Overall, it was a good district win, but we have to continue that for two more games with them this week.”
Thomas pitched a complete game and gave up only three hits and struck out eight batters.