Cards sweep season series, Commanders move forward

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By Brandon Mattingly

Washington County vs. Nelson County
: 4-1 Nelson County
When: Friday, April 26
Where: Idle Hour Park
Key players: WCHS - Thomas Spalding NCHS - Jared Proctor
Game highlights: They entered Friday’s matchup with district foe Nelson County (15-12) as winners of seven of their last eight, including impressive road wins at North Bullitt, Bethlehem and Campbellsville, but that didn’t help the Commander baseball team find their offense in a 4-1 loss to the Cards.

Washington County Head Coach Derek Schuler said the pitching of senior Thomas Spalding and junior Travis Mattingly gave his team a chance to win, but he pointed out that they won’t win many games with more errors than hits.

“The bad was that we had three hits and four errors,” he said. “It’s hard to win that way.”

Spalding was great for Washington County through four innings, allowing just three baserunners on two walks and an error. However, Nelson County junior pitcher Jared Proctor stayed with Spalding until Nelson County was able to break a scoreless tie in the fifth inning.
A single and an error set up a two-run double by senior Kolton Seely, who was thrown out between second and third base.

The Cards weren’t finished in the inning, though, as senior Khalil Bourn tripled and scored on a groundout to give Nelson County a 3-0 advantage.

Junior Tyler Spalding doubled and scored in the sixth to push the Cardinals’ lead to four runs.

The Commanders scraped a run across in the bottom of the seventh, but it was too little, too late. Senior Will Begley led off with a single and went to a second on a walk by senior Michael Mann. After advancing to third on a passed ball, Begley scored on a groundout by junior Michael Godshall.

Proctor fanned 15 WC batters on his way to the victory, but Schuler said his team—3-2 in district play—needs to stay focused on playing full games, and Friday’s loss will just be a bump in the road.

“We just have to continue to try to get better every day, and start competing for seven solid innings,” he said. “If we do that, we’ll be fine.”

Spalding, Begley and freshman Trae Coulter registered Washington County’s three hits, with Godshall being credited for the team’s lone RBI.

Washington County @ Fort Knox
10-0 Washington County
When: Thursday, April 25
Where: Fort Knox High School
Key players: WCHS - Will Begley, Thomas Spalding, Adam Smith
Game highlights: The Commanders had no problem getting the offense on track in Thursday night’s 10-0 win in five innings at Fort Knox (3-21).

Washington County was held scoreless in the first inning, but that would be the last time in the game they wouldn’t score at least two runs in an inning, as they steadily pulled away from the Eagles over the next four frames.

Begley had one of his best days on the pitching rubber, surrendering only one hit over five inning, with no walks and five strikeouts.

Junior Adam Smith got the scoring started in the second inning with a solo shot in leadoff, which was followed by a sac-fly by sophomore Colton Nolan to score Begley.

Fort Knox got themselves into trouble in the third inning, loading the bases with an error, a walk and a hit by pitch. Smith, Mann and Nolan then each walked to push three runs across for Washington County to take a 5-0 lead.

The Commanders got back to using their bats to do damage in the fourth, getting a leadoff single by Spalding, who promptly stole three bases to score before No. 2 hitter sophomore Wade Moore’s at bat ended. Moore then ripped a double to right-center and scored on a sac-fly by Coulter.

Leading 7-0, the Commanders ended the game in the fifth inning, started by a Begley single and a Mann walk. After a Godshall walk—and after Begley scored on a passed ball—Spalding singled in two runs to put the score at 10-0.

Begley handled the Eagles in the bottom of the inning, including a pair of strikeouts to earn the win.

Spalding was 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI for the Commanders, with Smith adding a 1-for-2, two RBI, one run scored day. Nolan also drove in a pair of runs and Moore scored twice.

Washington County was scheduled to host Bardstown on Tuesday after press time, and visit Marion County at 5:30 tonight. They’ll host Bethlehem at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and head to Adair County at 11 a.m. on Saturday.