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The Central Kentucky Mudcats swept a double-header from West Jessamine in 16-and-under summer baseball last Wednesday.
Daniel Whalen and Brett Thompson turned in strong pitching performances to lead the local team, made up largely of players from the Anderson County High School team. The Mudcats took the opener 10-2, then came back for a 4-1 win in the nightcap of games played at Barnes Memorial Field.
In the first game, Whalen came on in relief of Tanner Walker with one out in the third inning to throw 3.2 hitless innings. Whalen and Walker combined for a one-hitter, but Mudcat coach Chris Copenhaver said Walker had some control problems and Whalen issued a walk and hit a batter. Whalen also had three strikeouts.
“I thought Whalen did a great job coming in to relieve Tanner,” Copenhaver said. “Overall, Whalen had a heck of a game for us.”
Whalen also had a hit and a sacrifice bunt and drove in two runs.
Chris Sea went 2-for-4 with a double, while Josh Brown tripled for the Mudcats. Jacob Brown also had a hit for the locals.
In the second game, Thompson threw four shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out four. He did walk a batter. “He did a good job recovering from a rocky first start this summer but he still battled some control issues. However, I was proud of the way he worked through some tough spots and got the win for us.”
Wesley Jorette worked the final two innings to pick up the save, striking out three but giving up an unearned run.
Thompson also delivered the big hit, a two-out double in the bottom of the fifth to drive in two and stretch the Mudcat lead to 4-1.
“Overall, it was a good day picking up the two wins but I thought our pitching still gave up too many free bases with walks,” Copenhaver said.
Older teams roll over Mudcats at Lindsey Wilson
Three teams made up largely of older players whipped the Mudcats at Lindsey Wilson College over the weekend. Elite Baseball of Ohio rolled to an 11-1 win while At the Yard, from Cincinnati, pounded the Mudcats 11-0. In the finale, the Bruins of Elizabethtown, put up an 8-4 win.
“Overall, I was pleased with the boys and their effort,” Copenhaver said. “This was an 18- and 19-and-under tournament, so we knew it was not going to be easy when we signed up for it. I thought they did a very good job against some very good baseball teams.”
The loss to Elite Baseball might be misleading as the score was 5-1 going into the bottom of the sixth. Josh Brown had given up just two earned runs in five innings, but the Ohio team erupted, capitalizing on six Mudcat errors.
Jacob Brown smacked a double for the Mudcats.
At the Yard simply overpowered the Mudcats on its way to a tournament championship. The local team collected just one hit, a fifth-inning double from Thompson.
Against the Bruins, a team largely made up of Central Hardin High School players who had won back-to-back state championships before losing in the semi-finals this year, Mason Baker gave up three earned runs in five innings before giving way to Brown. “I was very proud of Mason and the way he pitched against a very strong program,” Copenhaver said. “He showed me a lot working through various defensive mistakes.”
Thompson again led the offense with a double and 3 RBI.
Previously unreported games
The Mudcats opened the summer season on June 5 with a 5-1 win over the Morse Mustangs, of Danville, at the home field.
Walker pitched five innings giving up one earned run on two hits while fanning seven. Josh Brown came on in the sixth and struck out two more to slam the door.
At the plate, Brown was 2-for-2 with a walk. He doubled and had two RBI.
In the second game of June 5, the Morse Mustangs came back for a 7-5 win. Thompson took the loss, giving up five runs in three innings, but brought the Mudcats back with a 3-run home run in the fourth, to highlight a four-run rally by the Mudcats.
On June 9, the Mudcats suffered a 9-3 loss to the Bluegrass Buzz in the second game of a double-header at Barnes Field. In the first game, the teams fought to a 2-2 tie before the game was called due to an expiration of time.
Heading into their own tournament this weekend at Barnes Memorial Field, the Mudcats stand at 3-5-1 for the summer.
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