.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

PREP BASEBALL: Central hammers Green to reach region final (5/28)

-A A +A
By Chuck Jones

By CHUCK JONES cjones@thenewsenterprise.com LEBANON — Central Hardin junior Anthony Thorn was nearly untouchable on the mound, and it was just the opposite for the Bruins, who couldn’t miss at the plate Tuesday night. It was a perfect recipe for success for the Bruins. Thorn was perfect through 4 1/3 innings but settled for a one-hitter and the Bruins pounded out 10 hits on their way to a 10-0 mercy-rout of the Green County Dragons in six innings in the semifinals of the 5th Region Tournament at Marion County High School’s Doug Hourigan Field. “Everything was working for me,” Thorn said. “They squeezed out that one hit. Perfect games don’t come along that often. But to get a shutout in the region tournament, I’m glad about that.” Thorn kept the Dragons off-balance the entire game with his fastball and mix of breaking pitches. He struck out 11, and he had at least two in every inning except one. He walked one and hit one batter. “The strike zone looked this big,” Thorn said spreading his hands far apart. “He was giving me a little bit outside, so I was trying to hit it as much as possible.” The Dragons only managed three men on base and only one of those advanced to scoring position. Thorn only threw 72 pitches, including 53 for strikes. “He was hitting all his spots,” Central Hardin sophomore catcher Jeremy Barr said. “He had great control of his curveball. He put it where he wanted. That’s the best game he’s thrown this year.” With the win, Central Hardin (21-9) advances to the region title game for the second consecutive year. The Bruins face Elizabethtown (28-9) tonight at 7 at Marion County High School. The two teams met last year with Elizabethtown coming out on top. “We’ve been thinking about this for 365 days,” Central Hardin senior Erik Stein said. “This is what we wanted to get back to this point. We want a chance to redeem ourselves after last year. We’re looking at this as a second chance.” Stein was the catalyst for the Central Hardin offense. After going hitless in three at-bats in the region opener, Stein went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and three runs batted in. “It felt good,” Stein said. “I felt like I hit the ball well, but right at people. I did a little extra work off the tee. It bothered me a little bit (last night), but as long as we’re winning, I’m still happy.” Stein wasn’t the only one to enjoy a big night. Barr went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs, while senior Chris Nichols was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a walk. Senior Austin Todd also scored two runs. “All the sudden I’m hitting the ball again,” Barr said. “I’ve been taking a lot of BP (batting practice) and it’s paying off for me.” The Bruins have scored 18 runs and banged out 21 hits, including five extra-base hits, in the first two region games. “Different guys have stepped up,” Central Hardin coach Todd Thompson said. “It’s been two different type of pitchers. Every batter likes certain things about pitchers. Maybe it’s the way the ball comes out of the hand. Hitters like different things. That’s the way it goes.” The Bruins took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when senior Austin Todd reached on a two-base error and sophomore Nolan Todd followed with a run-scoring single. In the third, Central Hardin added two more runs to build a 3-0 lead. Senior Chris Nichols singled and took second on an error. Senior Erik Stein ripped a double into right-center field to plate Nichols. After an out, sophomore Jeremy Barr doubled to center to score Stein. With two outs in the fifth, Central Hardin mounted another charge. Stein singled to left and moved to second on a wild pitch. Senior Joe Nash dropped in a bloop single into right to score Stein. Barr smacked a double down the left-field line to bring in Nash and Barr came around on a throwing error on the play to stretch the Central Hardin lead to 6-0. The Bruins finished off the game in the sixth by tacking on four more runs. Austin Todd struck out, but reached on an error, and after an out, junior Daniel Linder singled to left. After a double steal, Todd scored on an error on senior Andrew Doughty’s bunt. Nichols walked to load the bases and Stein followed with a two-run single. Nichols scored the final run of the game when Nash reached on a fielder’s choice. Central hardin 10, green county 0                                                 R H E Central Hardin          012   034    10 10 0 Green County           000   000      0 1 6 Anthony Thorn and Jeremy Barr. Daniel Bennett, T.C. Moore (6) and Justin Givens. WP: Thorn. LP: Bennett. 2B: Jeremy Barr (CH) 2, Erik Stein (CH). Chuck Jones can be reached at 505-1759