May 16th, 2018

HC uses sixth inning rally to dispatch Bullitt Central

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

HC uses sixth inning rally to dispatch Bullitt Central
Holy Cross' Brock DeSpain takes a hack at a pitch / photo by Conor Revell

With no seniors playing because of Baccalaureate Mass, the Holy Cross missed their upperclassmen leadership badly.

But, Holy Cross figured out a way to win, scoring eight runs in the bottom of the sixth, and defeating visiting Bullitt Central 9-1 Wednesday night.

“I think not having them there killed the energy,” Holy Cross head coach Tim Hockman said. “It was tough and we struggled early. Last night was senior night and it was a big night for us. The seniors had their Baccalaureate today and some kids had a chance to play at the varsity level. We were sluggish early and then we got rolling a little bit.”

The score was tied at one in sixth, but J.R. Perry delivered a one-out double that scored Will Clark.

“It was an inside fastball,” Perry said. “The coach had been preaching to me all-year to get my hand through and turn on the ball and used my strength. I saw the ball, turned, and it took off.”

From there, the energy was contagious, and the next seven Holy Cross hitters reached base.

Perry stole third base and scored on a wild pitch, Brock DeSpain walked in a run, Richardson had a 2-RBI double that was nearly a grand slam, Bullitt Central mishandled a grounder that scored two runs, and Emberton delivered a run-scoring single.

“J.R. has been swinging the bat very well for JV,” Hockman said. “He got a couple of swings in tonight. He looked good. It didn’t surprise me that he came out and looked good tonight.”

Clark threw a complete game for Holy Cross (19-12) and allowed one run, three hits, struck out eight, and only walked one.

“I was throwing my fastball pretty good and locating it on the outside,” Clark said. “My curveball was also working a lot today. It looked pretty good out there. I threw my slider a little bit, but it wasn’t working so I’d go right back to my curveball.”

Clark is only a sophomore.

“Wes has been throwing well all year,” Hockman said. “We can count on him to give us strong innings. He gives us a chance to win a ballgame. He looked good tonight.”

Lucas Shank started on the hill for Bullitt Central (7-15) and gave up one run, four hits, struck out five, and walked three in five innings.

Clay Phillips threw 1/3 of an inning and allowed five runs; one hit, and walked one. Mark Parker pitched 1/3 of an inning and yielded five runs, three hits walked two, and struck out one. Christian Eastridge struck out the only hitter he faced.  

“That sixth inning was big and helped me a lot,” Clark said. “I knew the team had my back. They were out there and did a great job. The bats came out and I’m they did, but they had my back the whole way.”

Holy Cross made it 1-0 in the third. Gavin Foushee singled, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball, and scored on Trenton Brewer’s infield single.

Bullitt Central tied it up at one in the fourth. Eastridge walked, moved to second on a Garrison James single, and advanced to third on Lucas Shank’s grounder.

Shank went to steal second and Eastridge scored from third when DeSpain, the Holy Cross catcher, threw to first to try and pickoff the runner at first.

That was the final regular season game for Holy Cross. The postseason starts Tuesday against Fairdale in the 21st District semifinals at Pleasure Ridge Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. or 30 minutes after the completion of the first semifinal contest.

“That’s going to be a big game,” Hockman said. “I’m a little worried. I aint going to lie to you right now. Our pitching – maybe Wes has filled in for the long season. Hopefully with this week off other than practice, we’ll be ready to go Tuesday.” 


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