Wildcat Baseball off to hot start to season

    Pendleton County Wildcat baseball has started the 2019 season 2-2. Head Coach Colin Duffie entered the season with greater expectations. His squad was young and hungry last season but suffered some growing pains along the way. This season, the Wildcats are not only more experienced but more confident.
    The Wildcats began their season with a 10-3 victory over 9th Region opponent Holmes. Senior pitcher Cody Sullivan had one of the best mound outings in Pendleton County baseball history, striking out a record 14 batters en route to the victory.
    “Cody Sullivan pitched outstanding on a cold night, and probably threw the ball the best I have ever seen him pitch,” said Duffie.
    Offensively, the Wildcats were dominant throughout.Eighth-grader Ethan Verst had one of his best games to date, going 2-3 with two RBIs and a walk. Junior Colby Beane also was red hot at the plate, going 3-3 and scoring three runs.
    The Wildcats followed up the Holmes victory with a decisive 13-1 romping of 10th Region opponent Calvary Christian in five innings at the home of the Florence Freedom. Junior Seth Gregg went the distance on the mound, tossing five innings while earning nine strikeouts. At the plate, the Wildcats had a field day. Freshman Brice Redden went 2-3 with two RBIs, Gregg went 3-3 with two RBIs and Verst went 1-2 with two RBIs.
    Seth Gregg took the ball on the mound and did an  outstanding job, throwing strikes and getting ahead early. He did a great job, and I look forward to watching him grow as a pitcher,” said Duffie. “Offensively we cut down on the strike outs from the night before and made hard solid contact on almost every at bat. Our goal is to have good at bats each time we step to the plate.”
    The Wildcats lost a hard fought game against Bracken County 11-12 after two flawless victories to begin the season. Verst took the mound and surrendered 11 runs on 7 hits. Only 5 of the runs were earned as the Wildcats had issues defensively throughout the game.
    After 3 innings the Wildcats were down 11 but ferociously rallied back to make the game 11-10. Gregg showed his value at the plate going 2-5 with four RBIs. Verst also had a great outing at the plate, going 3-4 with two RBIs. No matter the outcome, Duffie remained optimistic after his young squad’s valiant comeback.
    “We had some inexperienced guys getting some action tonight that will really benefit is in the long run,” said Duffie. “We showed that refuse-to-lose attitude that I love. We hate losing, but we have to be proud of the comeback and our offensive abilities that have been consistent early on. We have some guys gaining valuable experience that will pay off in the future.”
    The final game of the week resulted in a 3-8 Wildcats loss against Williamstown.  Joey Ball got the nod as he threw five innings while allowing eight runs on four hits. The Wildcat hitting couldn’t manufacture enough mustard to keep up with the Demons. Overall junior Dalton Schlueter had the best game finishing 2-3 with one RBI.
    “We lost to a really good Williamstown team. They have some experienced seniors that can play and pitched three good arms at us,” said Duffie. “I thought we had some really good at bats against the best pitching we have faced all year.”
    The Wildcats have a busy upcoming week as they face Newport on Monday, March 25, at 5:30 p.m. They turn around to face Dayton on the Tuesday, March 26, at 5:30 p.m. On Thursday,  March 28, they have a big contest against 38th District rival Harrison County that will challenge the young Wildcats. First pitch is at 5:30 p.m. Rounding out the week, they face Mason County at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 29. All of these games are away.