• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Bat Jackets defeat Frankfort; clinch district regular season title

CHARLIE CORUM has been a big asset for the Woodford County High School baseball team. The sophomore catcher’s defense behind the plate and his timely hitting has been instrumental in helping the Bat Jackets clinch the 41st District regular season title. (Photo by Rick Capone)

On Wednesday, April 26, at Chandler Field, the Woodford County High School baseball team defeated Frankfort 19-2 in a mercy-rule, five-inning game. With the win, the Bat Jackets are now 16-9 overall, 10-4 in region play, and most important of all, they clinched the district regular season title with a 5-1 record. Finishing in second place will be either Franklin County or Western Hills, who both have 3-2 records and one more game to play against each other, while Frankfort is in fourth place with a 0-6 record. “This team has put in a lot of hard work and I’m very happy for the players for capturing the district regular season title,” said Woodford head coach Paul Patterson, who is in his second season at the helm of the Bat Jackets. “However, I feel the district titles are expected in Woodford County and the rebuild here has been easy because of the athletic ability of the players and the unbelievable support the coaching staff has received from the families in the baseball community. “I am proud because they are setting goals and achieving them together. They are competing for each other and playing the game the way it was intended to be played. Our guys are playing with a lot of confidence because they feel the support of the guy next to them and they are all pulling on the same end of the rope. “We have had several key injuries and bumps in the road, but this team remains focused, with no quit, on their ultimate goals which include playing for regional and state championships; as well as getting as many individuals to the collegiate level as possible. “Our point of emphases has been to expect nothing and to earn everything. This approach has been evident in the way they pitch, in the way they play defense, and the way they swing the bat. Pair that up with the best coaching staff in the state who can teach them the correct fundamentals and you have a team that that can compete with anybody.” In the game against Frankfort, Woodford got six runs in the first inning, seven more in the second inning and then six in the third inning to score its 18 runs. Frankfort scored two runs, both in the fourth inning. With the score 18-2 in the top of the fifth, the Bat Jackets did not allow the Panthers to score any runs and the game ended in a mercy-rule, five-inning game. Sophomore Logan Stone got the start and pitched three innings and had two strikeouts while giving up three hits and two walks. Junior Collin Murray pitched one inning and had one strikeout and one walk, while junior Joseph Sutherland pitched one inning and gave up two runs on three hits and one walk. The Bat Jackets played two other games this past week. On Friday, April 28, they scored a 5-2 win at home over Marion County. In the game, Woodford scored one run in the third inning, one more in the fourth inning, two in the fifth inning and their final one in the sixth inning. Marion County got one run in the third inning and one in the fourth inning. Senior Jack Ockerman got the win for the Bat Jackets. He pitched a complete seven-inning game and had 11 strikeouts, while giving up three runs on three hits and two walks. Woodford got its first run in the third inning. With senior Seth Denton on first base and one out, junior Sam Flora hit a double into left field, which scored Denton for the 1-0 lead. Marion County then scored one run to tie the game 1-1 after three. In the fourth inning, with two outs and senior Alec Neff on second, Denton singled to centerfield to score Neff for the 2-1 Woodford lead. But, once again, Marion County answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game once again, 2-2. The Bat Jackets took the lead for good in the fifth. With Ockerman on third and one out, junior Caleb McNeely singled to left field to score Ockerman for the 3-2 lead. Later in the inning, with McNeely on second, junior Josh Hall singled to left field to give Woodford a 4-2 lead. Then in the sixth inning, with Neff on third, Denton came through again, this time with a single to left field that scored Neff for the 5-2 lead. Neither team scored again and the Bat Jackets had the win. On Saturday, April 29, Woodford lost 4-2 at home against Mercer County. In the game, the Bat Jackets scored one run in the first inning and one more in the fifth inning, while Mercer County got two in the first inning, one in the third and one more in the seventh to get the win.

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