The Woodford County High School baseball team took an 8-0 lead in the second inning against Bryan Station at home on a rainy Fridaynight, April 21, and then held off a Defender rally to win the game 9-6. The win followed an 8-0 shutout over district opponent Franklin County in Frankfort on Wednesday, April 19. With those two games complete, Woodford now has a 12-8 overall record, a 7-4 region record and a 3-1 district record. “We got some outstanding pitching performances against Franklin County and Bryan Station,” said Woodford head coach Paul Patterson. “Our starters were very good all week. Parker Thomas pitched well, Jack Ockerman pitched well and Collin Murray pitched well. “Offensively, we are striking out less and walking more than we did at this point in the season last year. If we continue to get quality starts and our bullpen is effective throwing strikes and keeping the ball down, I can see this team making another stride forward. We are getting more production from the bottom half of our lineup which allows us to put constant pressure on the other team. We’ve also demonstrated recently the ability to fight and compete in tough games. “In the games we lost, our seniors were not happy and forced our team to bounce back. This has been the biggest improvement to date because it tells me they want to win, they’ve worked hard enough to be emotionally invested, and they believe in themselves. I’m very excited about the direction this team is going.” The Bat Jackets completed their regular season district games against Frankfort this week. The first game was at Frankfort on Tuesday, April 25, and the second game was at home on Wednesday, April 26. In the game against Bryan Station, the night began under cloudy skies, and while the forecast called for rain, there was no hint of it as the game got underway. Woodford junior Collin Murray got the start and with two ground balls for easy plays, and a strikeout for the third out, which put Bryan Station down in order in the top of the first inning. In Woodford’s half of the inning, Bryan Station returned the favor and got Woodford out quickly to keep the game scoreless. In the top of the second, the Defenders got one runner on base, but once again the pitching of Murray and the Bat Jacket defense ended the inning with no runs scored. But then in the bottom of the second, the Woodford’s offense came alive and they jumped out to an 8-0 lead. The inning began with Charlie Corum hitting a hard ground ball to the shortstop, who made a bad throw that left the sophomore catcher safe on first. Sophomore Leo Guadagni then came in as a courtesy runner. Then with junior Josh Hall at the plate, a wild pitch allowed Guadagni advanced to second base. Hall then hit a ball into the outfield that scored Guadagni for a 1-0 lead and left Hall safe at first base. The next batter was sophomore Ben Browning, who hit a single to center field and advanced Guadagni to second base. Senior Parker Thomas then came up to bat and he also hit a ball into center field to load the bases with Guadagni on third, Browning on second, and Thomas on first. Senior Alec Neff was then hit by a pitch, which scored Guadagni for the 2-0 lead, and advanced Browning to third and Thomas to second, while Neff took first. Freshman Skyelar Johnson then hit a ground ball to third base that, unfortunately, resulted in a double play. However, Browning scored to make it a 3-0 ball game, while Thomas advanced to third base. With two outs, senior Jack Ockerman was hit by a pitch. So, with Thomas at third and Ockerman at first, junior Sam Flora hit a single into center field, which scored Thomas and Ockerman to give Woodford a 5-0 lead. Next, junior Caleb McNeely hit a ground ball to third base and, because of a bad throw to first by Bryan Station, Flora advanced to second, while McNeely was safe at first. That brought Corum to the plate for the second time in the inning, and he blasted a three-run home run over the left field fence to give Woodford an 8-0 lead. Two batters later, the Defenders got out of the inning, but not before the Bat Jackets had taken a solid lead. Neither team scored in the third inning, then as the fourth inning got started, a slow, steady rain began to fall. In the top of the fourth inning, Bryan Station finally mounted some offense and got one run across the plate to make it an 8-1 ball game. The Defenders then added one more run in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth inning, but the Bat Jackets still led 8-5. Woodford got one more run in the bottom of the sixth when, with Corum on second off a double to center field, Flora hit a double to score Corum and give the Bat Jackets a 9-5 lead. Then, Bryan Station tried to pull off a seventh inning rally, and while the Defenders scored one run to make it 9-6, that was all they got and Woodford scored the win. In the game, Murray got the win. He pitched five innings and had three strikeouts, while allowing two runs on three hits and two walks. Also pitching in the game was Neff, who pitched one inning and gave up one run on one hit and three walks; senior Seth Denton, who pitched two thirds of an inning and had one strikeout, while giving up three runs on one hit and three walks; and junior Joseph Sutherland, who pitched one-third of an inning and gave up one walk. Next up, Woodford plays two home games. On Friday, April 28, they face Marion County at 6 p.m., and then on Saturday, April 29, they play Mercer County at noon. Woodford then plays four games in five days as May gets underway. On Monday, May 1, they travel to Georgetown to play Scott County at 5:30 p.m. On Tuesday, May 2, they play Sayre at home at 5:30 p.m. They follow that with two road games. On Wednesday, May 3, they play at Anderson County at 5:30 p.m., and on Friday, May 5, they are at Lafayette at 8 p.m.