By Grant Stevens
May 22, 2013 —
Taking your licks is a form of adversity you must sometimes overcome in order to look forward to a bright future.
This circumstance came to fruition Monday night for the West Carter Comets 2012 baseball squad as they fell short of a seventh inning comeback, with Morgan County claiming a scrappy 4-2 victory in the 62nd District opening round in Olive Hill.
In what was a hard fought battle, the game itself came down to the proverbial wire.
Following a walk over home plate by junior Kyle Stone in the top of the seventh inning to make the score 4-2 in favor of the Cougars, seventh grader Ben Jordan stepped up to bat with three on and two out for West Carter.
A full count set up the deciding play of the game when Jordan connected on a fastball from Morgan’s Ryan Hanson, driving the ball down the left field line where third baseman Zach Bartley scooped up the Comets’ hopes of comeback, ending the game as he tagged the bag.
“Ben had hit the ball well all game, but he was just hitting it to people” said West Carter Head Coach Brian Brown. “He made contact and drove the ball down the line and Morgan’s third baseman made a great play. Hats off to them.”
Splitting the difference in the win column during the regular season, the 62nd District’s only first round game was a good one.
Runs came at a premium, and the Comets took advantage of an early mistake when Morgan County catcher Ryan Whitt made a wild throw past third, allowing seventh grader J.T. Johnson to give West Carter its only lead of the game, 1-0.
Senior pitcher Tanner Tackett and company collectively held off any Cougar attack until the bottom of the fifth when Larrin Collins did work with a moon shot over the left field wall. Tackett followed with a strikeout before his defense ended the inning with two more.
Three-straight outs at bat for West set up a big sixth inning for Morgan County.
With two outs and one on, Morgan County scored three-straight runs, capped with a single by Kaden Ross to plate Braxton Patterson. Jordan relieved the bleeding for the Comets with a strikeout on the next batter as he relieved Tackett.
The next inning may have been the final for this year’s Comets squad, but Brown said he sees good things to come.
“Obviously we’ve got a young team,” Brown said. “We start two seniors, two juniors and we’ve had to fill in with seventh graders, eighth graders and freshman. We’ve gotten a lot better this year, and that includes our pitching, hitting and how we field the ball. I am proud of the example our seniors set and I see a bright future for West Carter baseball.”
Tackett picked up five Ks for the Comets in six innings of play, while giving up three hits in the loss. Hanson sat down six Comet batters for the Cougars, relenting three hits.
Peyton Brown and Zach Walker picked up a single each, while Kyle Stone notched a double for West.
West Carter ended the 2012 season with final record of 7-14, while Morgan County (18-8) took on East Carter Tuesday night in the 62nd District Championship game.