Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

April 9, 2014

Comets’ pitching leads to win over Allen Central

By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Journal-Times

April 9, 2014 — The West Carter baseball team hosted Allen Central in a Saturday afternoon matchup in Olive Hill.

On a day where offense came at a premium, the Comets took advantage of a sixth inning error that allowed a run to score as West defeated the Rebels 1-0.

With both teams scoreless in the bottom of the sixth, freshman Ben Jordan put a ball in play with Spencer Phillips on second. Allen Central second baseman Dustin Johnson could not field it correctly and threw the ball wild across the diamond, allowing Phillips to score the game’s only run.

“They played great defense throughout the whole game,” Coach Tim Johnson said. “We were able to take advantage of that and score on the play. It’s a shame that it comes down to an error to win a game but we’ll take it. “Allen Central is a tremendous baseball team. They’ve beaten a lot of high-profile teams in their region and to come out of here with a win is amazing.”

Both teams used stellar pitching throughout the game. Spencer Phillips started the game, giving up one hit and striking out five and walking two. Freshman Kaden Rose came in relief in the fourth inning and only gave up one hit.

“Both of our pitchers were outstanding,” Johnson said. “Spencer stepped up as a senior and gave us quality innings. Kaden is just a freshman and that’s two outings in a row where he’s shut people down. I couldn’t be happier.”

Allen Central pitcher Junior Handshoe was equally as impressive. He only allowed one hit, a single by freshman Dalton Brown in the bottom of the third inning. Handshoe struck out four Comets.

“His ball speed was definitely an issue,” Johnson said. “He didn’t throw it very hard and we were out in front of his pitches. He had a pretty good curve ball and we had a hard time hitting that pitch.”

The win improved West Carter to 7-1, the best start in school history.

“We’re really enjoying the ride,” Johnson said. “Our seniors now for the first time in their careers see what it’s like to be on a winning team. They have stepped up and shown great leadership and that’s carried us to where we are right now.”

There is another opportunity for West Carter and Allen Central to meet again. Both could play in the semi-state matchup of the All “A” Classic next week if both win their respective regions.

“We would love to play them again,” Johnson said.

West began the 16th Region All “A” by playing in the semifinals against Raceland at Central Park in Ashland on Tuesday. If the Comets win, they’ll advance to Thursday’s championship against the winner of the Morgan County and Fairview game.

MacKenzie Bates can be reached at mbates@journal-times.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.