Henry baseball 13-12 heading into final week

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By Tommie Kendall

Preparing for the fast-approaching postseason, which starts Monday night, the Henry County baseball team picked up wins No. 12 and 13 last week to take its overall record above the .500 mark at 13-12.

The Wildcats, playing three road games, beat Spencer County 12-2 last Monday night, beat Jeffersontown 4-3 on Friday and lost to Anderson County 7-0 on Saturday. They finish the regular season this week and play Carroll County (at Owen County High School) in the opening round of the 31st District tournament at 8 p.m. on Monday night. It’s what they have been aiming for all season.

The games they play well and typically win, coach Austin Hunsaker said, include the same recipe: bunt the ball, run the bases aggressively, put the ball in play, limit strikeouts and cut down on ill-timed errors.

“It’s kind of been the same recipe with each win,” Hunsaker said. “When we do those things, we’ll win most of the time. We just have to stick to the system, and we have a really good shot against any team we play.”

Against Spencer last Monday, the Wildcats wasted little time in going up as they scored early. Trent Lucas spent a majority of the game on the pitcher’s mound, and the Cats won 12-2. Hunsaker was most pleased with his team’s ability to put the ball in play, something he has been working on with his players.

After a three-day break from games, the Wildcats were back in action on Friday when they traveled to Jeffersontown. They came through in the clutch with a run in the top of the seventh inning and held Jeffersontown in the bottom of the seventh, winning 4-3.

Knotted up at 3 each, Lance Williams led off the seventh with a grounder to the pitcher that left him standing on first base. He then advanced to second and third before Nat Louden came to the plate. With two outs, two strikes and Williams leading off on third, Louden hit a grounder than allowed Williams to score and himself just enough time to reach first base.

Henry then held Jeffersontown in the bottom of the seventh for the one-run victory.

Brandon Knight pitched a majority of the game, giving up two home runs but battling the entire time. Lucas came into the game in the bottom of the sixth to work out of a jam with no outs and a base runner on second base, and the momentum carried over into the final inning.

“To be honest, we didn’t play that well, especially offensively, but it was nice to see that even though we didn’t play well we were able to pull out a win,” Hunsaker said. “We’ll take one any way we can get it, even if it’s not pretty.”

The following day, the Wildcats were back in action when they traveled to Anderson County in a test to see how they would stack up against one of the better teams in the 8th Region. It wasn’t a win — Henry lost 7-0 — but it showed the Wildcats what they are capable of.

“We aren’t at the bottom of our region, but we also aren’t at the top, and we definitely had our shot against one of the better ones,” Hunsaker said.

Dylan Ouellette started on the mound, throwing four innigns before his pitch count got too high, while Lucas and Hayden Hughes closed it out. It was 3-0 through four innings before Anderson added four runs.

“We had some early chances but had too many mistakes,” Hunsaker said. “We just didn’t look like we had a lot of energy. And when you play a team like Anderson flat, it’s not good.”

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