• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Bat Jackets score 18-0 mercy-rule win over Frankfort

NATE BEAVERS makes a throw to first base for an out during the Woodford County High School baseball team’s 18-0 mercy-rule win over Frankfort for their first district win of the season. (Photo by Rick Capone)

The Woodford County High School baseball team wasted no time scoring runs against Frankfort at home on Tuesday, April 12. They lit up the scoreboard with eight runs in the first inning, four more in the second inning and six more in the third inning to score a five-inning 18-0 mercy-rule win in their first district game of the season. On the mound, junior Parker Thomas pitched a strong, efficient, complete game. In five innings, he had six strikeouts, no walks in under 65 pitches. “Overall, I’m happy,” said Woodford head coach Paul Patterson. “Parker (Thomas) pitched really well. He had no walks. He stayed ahead of guys all night. His pitch count was down. I think he got through five innings and less than 65 pitches. He was really good challenging the hitters.” With the win, Woodford is now 7-7 overall, 2-2 in the region and 1-0 in district play. Woodford got things started in the first inning when they sent 13 batters to the plate and put eight runs on the board. Junior Jack Ockerman got things started when, with one out, he hit a single to left field. Senior Colin Enlow then hit a fly ball to left field and what followed was something right out of a “Keystone Cops” movie as Ockerman, who was headed to second, saw the fly ball and figured it would be caught. He then tried to reverse direction, slipped and fell, got up and headed back to first. Meanwhile, Frankfort’s left fielder missed the ball, picked it up, threw it to his cut off man, who over threw first base. Ockerman then reversed direction again and headed back second. When the dust, literally, settled in the infield, Woodford had two men on base, Ockerman at second and Enlow on first. Next up was Charlie Corum, who blasted a hit over the left-field fence for a three-run, home run to give Woodford a 3-0 lead. But, even though Patterson was happy he hit the home run, he also made it a teaching moment for the freshman. “You know, I got all over him right before the home run,” said Patterson. “He took an 0-0 swing and fouled it off and just protected on a fast ball that was down and off the plate. There was no reason for it, so I jumped all over him. And, when he was coming around third (after the home run), he said, ‘Did I make up for the 0-0 swing?’ I told him, ‘No,’ because I expected him to hit balls out of the park. He’s a really, really talented player and I love having him. It’s just fun to watch him hit.” Next up was senior Nate Beavers, who made it to first on a ball hit to third base, which was dropped. Then, with Thomas at the plate, Beavers stole second. Thomas then hit a hard ground ball to the shortstop, but he dropped it and then threw it wide to the first baseman, who was pulled off the bag, which allowed Beavers to score for a 4-0 Woodford lead. Sophomore Sam Flora then came in as a courtesy runner for Thomas. Junior Dalton Smither then hit a single to put two Bat Jackets on base; Flora at second and Smither on first. Then, with senior Clay Rouse at the plate, Smither and Flora pulled a double-steal, which advanced Flora to third and Smither to second. Rouse followed that with an easy grounder to the pitcher, who threw to first for an out, but scored Flora to make it 5-0 and advance Smither to third. Junior Benjamin Denton was up next, got hit by a pitch, went to first, and then stole second. Woodford then loaded the bases when senior Mason Robinette was also walked. That brought Ockerman back to the plate and he hit a fly ball to center field, which was dropped, scoring Smither and Denton to give the Bat Jackets a 7-0 lead, and put Robinette on second and Ockerman on first. “I’m really impressed with Jack (Ockerman) because his leadership ability on this team is spectacular,” said Patterson. “We’ve been really up and down. They’ve (the team) played really, really well, or they’ve played really, really bad, and he just plays everyday. It’s starting to rub off on some of these guys.” Woodford loaded the bases once more when Enlow was hit by a pitch. Then, with Corum at the plate, a Frankfort wild pitch scored Robinette from third to make it 8-0. Frankfort finally got out of the inning on a strikeout, but Woodford had a lead that the Panthers were unable to overcome. The Bat Jackets went on to score four more runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 12-0 lead, and then in the third inning, they sent 11 batters up to the plate and scored six more runs for an 18-0 lead. Two innings later in the fifth, Thomas and the Woodford defense finished the game off with an easy grounder to the shortstop and a throw to first, followed by two strikeouts and the Bat Jackets had a district win under their belts.

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