Commanders win district finale, drop home bout with LaRue Co.

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By Brandon Mattingly

Washington County baseball (15-14) finished off the regular season 19th District slate with a 4-1 win over Thomas Nelson (1-28) at home last Wednesday, behind junior Travis Mattingly’s bat—3-for-3 with two RBI—and seven innings of five-hit, no-earned run, no-walk work from seniors Thomas Spalding and Will Begley on the mound.

The Commanders were unable to keep that success going into Monday night, however, when they were stopped by LaRue County (12-19) by a 6-4 score.

Washington County vs. LaRue County
6-4 LaRue County
When: Monday, May 13
Where: Idle Hour Park
Key players: WCHS - Wade Moore, Michael Godshall LCHS - Cole Hughes, Kelton Ford
Game highlights: Spalding was on the hill for Washington County on Monday night, and he found himself in a jam in the opening frame. After striking out the first batter, Spalding allowed a pair of singles. He got the big groundball he needed in the next at bat, though, and sophomore Wade Moore started a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

After Spalding took care of the side in the second, the Hawks got going in the third inning to take the lead after getting the first two men on base. A sacrifice bunt and a shallow fly ball to center weren’t enough to get the runs home, but a ball hit up the middle by senior Cole Hughes scored the first two runs of the game.

The Commanders didn’t trail for long, though. With two on and nobody out, Begley laid down a bunt that was thrown away by LaRue County down the first base line, allowing junior Michael Godshall to score from second base. Junior Adam Smith then tied the game with a sac-fly.

Senior Kelton Ford came through with a big hit for LaRue County in the fourth inning. With two on and two out, Ford ripped a RBI single to give the Hawks the lead once again, and they made the score 4-2 after a double steal caught the Commanders off guard.

Washington County got one of those runs back in the bottom of the fifth, after Godshall led the inning off with a base hit. He moved to second on a Moore bunt, and scored on a LaRue County error attempting to cut out a WC double steal.

The Commander defense committed three errors in the top of the seventh inning, however, allowing the Hawks to push the lead back to three runs at 6-3 heading to the final half-inning.

Moore started the final-inning rally with a leadoff double, followed by a Begley walk. Spalding’s infield single then loaded the bases for Smith, whose sac-fly made the score 6-4. Mattingly stepped in and bounced one to third, where Hughes was waiting to step on the bag and throw to first for the game-ending double play.

Washington County vs. Thomas Nelson
4-1 Washington County
When: Wednesday, May 8
Where: Idle Hour Park
Key players: WCHS - Travis Mattingly, Thomas Spalding, Will Begley
Game highlights: A Washington County error spotted Thomas Nelson a run in the first inning last Wednesday, but it didn’t take long for the Commanders to settle in on their way to a 4-1 win to finish 5-3 in district play, good enough for a three seed in next week’s 19th District tournament.

Following the unearned run in the first inning, Spalding spun four more scoreless innings for Washington County, before being replaced by Begley, who was just as impressive over the final two frames.
After falling behind 1-0, Smith started the second inning off with a double, and scored on a Mattingly single.

The game remained tied until the fourth inning, when freshman Trae Coulter was hit by a pitch in leadoff. Mattingly then singled to get Coulter into scoring position and senior Michael Mann reached on an error to give WC a 2-1 lead.

The Commanders were looking for some insurance runs in the fifth, and they got just that by once again getting the leadoff batter on—this time a Spalding single. Smith reached with a walk, and Mattingly singled home a fourth run, moments after the third crossed the plate on a passed ball.

The Generals never threatened down the stretch, only getting two players on base over the final three innings.

Washington County was at Lincoln County (9-20) last night after press time, and is scheduled to visit Whitefield Academy (8-17) on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. North Bullitt (18-14) will be at Idle Hour Park on Friday at 5:30 p.m. to close out the regular season.