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The sting of a trying season might last a while for Anderson County baseball bu the Bearcats showed over the final week of the season they still had some punch left.
The Bearcats upset defending state champion Woodford County Saturday at Chandler Field in Versailles. Senior Zach Mason got the win with perhaps the strongest pitching performance of his career. Mason threw five innings, giving up four hits and three walks while surrendering only one earne run.
Woodford was ranked eighth in the state in the final regular-season poll.
“I was very proud of Zach for the way he pitched and competed in this game,” said Anderson assistant coach Chris Copenhaver, who ran the team in head coach L.W. Barnes' absence. Barnes was tending to a personal matter.
“(Mason) got into a couple of jams but worked out of them unscathed for the most part,” Copenhaver said. “He has worked very hard this year and throughout his career and he deserved this big time win for us.”
Junior lefty Brandon Eliadis pitched two scoreless innings for the save.
“Defensively, I thought it could have been the best game we played all year. We had one error in the first inning that led to an unearned run but after that we played very solid,” Copenhaver said. “I thought our outfielders did a great job tracking down some well-hit balls and Max Crabtree saved us more than once with some nice scoops at first base.”
Lucas Durr led the Bearcat attack with a single and a double, while Granville Hayes also smacked a big double, according to Copenhaver.
“Offensively, we didn't do anything special but we did enough. We had four or five sacrifice bunts that we got down that led to our runs and put us in position to score some other runs,” Copenhaver said. “The big thing was our bunting. We also had a hit or two from our bunts.”
Copenhaver said the Bearcats showed strong discipline at the plate against a “pretty good pitcher.”
“Overall, it was just a real good performance for the boys to cap off a good week for them,” Copenhaver said. “We had a lot of guys contribute in some way.”
Anderson Co. 11, Western Hills 10
Anderson scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to outlast Western Hills, 11-10, in a wild one last Tuesday.
Anderson loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh when Josh Brown stepped to the plate. “He fought off many pitches and eventually worked a walk for the game-winning RBI,” Anderson coach L.W. Barnes said.
The Bearcats had seen a 7-2 lead go by the board when Western Hills put five runs up in the top of the sixth. Then after Anderson went back up in the bottom of the inning, Western Hills tied it again in the top of the seventh.
Wesley Jorette paced Anderson with two hits, including his first varsity home run, and four RBI. Granville Hayes and Brice Stockton also had two hits for the Bearcats.
Stockton pitched one inning in relief to get the win. Zach Mason started for the Bearcats, lasting just over three innings. “He was the victim of poor defense,”Barnes said. “He pitched well, but we couldn't make the plays behind him. Alex Payton also worked on the hill for the Bearcats.
With Thursday's game against West Jessamine being rained out, the Bearcats had just two home games all season, winning both.
“Senior night was a great success, and the senior parents did a great job pulling together a wonderful evening,” Barnes said.
District tournament action
Anderson was scheduled to have played Collins in the first round of the 30th District Tournament Tuesday after press time. The tournament is being played at the Shelby County Athletic Complex.
The winner of that game is scheduled to play the Shelby County-Spencer County winner in the district championship game tonight (Wednesday, May 22) at 6 p.m.
District winners and runners-up both advance to the Eighth Region Tournament, scheduled to begin Monday, May 27 at South Oldham High School.