Baseball got under way last Saturday at Don Lee Field as the Cougars played host to the Christian Academy of Louisville Centurions in the first scrimmage game of the season.
In a game typical of the early season, with not much scoring and with pitchers trying to find a rhythm, the Centurions prevailed by a score of 3-2.
Head coach Danny Clark used five different pitchers on the day, limiting them to about 50 pitches each. No one was especially sharp, though they combined for just one earned run while striking out 13. There were seven walks on the day and a hit-batsman.
Senior Kevin Pierce started for the Cougars and struggled with his control, having three-ball counts on six of the eight batters he faced. He went just an inning and a third, allowing one unearned run on one hit, while walking three and striking out three.
Sophomore Zach Roberson was the next Cougar to take the mound and he wound up being the losing pitcher on the day, though really through no fault of his own.
He went 2 1/3 innings striking out three and walking no one and allowed two runs, one of them earned, on three hits.
Junior Joseph Anthony was probably the most effective pitcher of the day. He pitched an inning and a third, allowed no hits or runs, walked one, struck out four and hit one batter.
Sophomore lefty Wyatt Skaggs pitched 2/3 of an inning, walking one, striking out one and allowing no runs on one hit.
Senior Dalton Logsdon pitched the seventh inning, something that should be a familiar spot for him this season as the team’s closer. He gave up no runs or hits, struck out three, but walked two.
The Centurions got on the board first with an unearned run in the top of the second inning. Right-fielder Dylan Sexton singled leading off the inning against Pierce, was balked to second, then moved to third on a ground out. Sexton then came home on an uncharacteristic passed-ball by sophomore catcher Logan Ramsey
The Cougars took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second. Justin Calvert and Jameson Van Meter were both aboard with back-to-back walks to start the inning. Centurion starter Sam Stone then committed a balk, moving the runners to second and third.
Pierce followed with a ground-out to second base to drive in Calvert with the first run. Ramsey followed with a single to right to plate Van Meter and put the Cougars ahead.
Roberson was unlucky in the fourth inning as he gave up the runs that beat the Cougars. Back-to-back singles opening the inning put runners at first and second. Jordan Jennings followed with a topper down the line at third. Third-baseman Logan Stevenson made a nice play on the ball, getting Jennings at first for the first out, but the runners moved up to second and third.
Don Gates followed by squibbing a ball up the first-base side which drove in Sexton with a run. Calvert fielded the ball and threw to Van Meter covering at first for the second out, but both players lost track of how many outs there were.
As Calvert headed for the dugout, Van Meter rolled the ball back toward the mound. Making a heads-up play, Austin Kurnick rounded third and headed home with what turned out to be the winning run.
The Cougars could manage just six hits against four Centurion hurlers. Logsdon finished the day 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. Calvert had the only extra-base hit of the day for either team, ripping a double to center with two out in the sixth.