Caden Alvey wasn’t ready to come off the mound ahead of the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday night at Elizabethtown.
The Central Hardin junior had held the Panthers hitless through the first five innings, but had given up three in the bottom of the sixth. Elizabethtown also was finally on the board, finishing the inning with a pair of runs.
Despite the setback, Alvey knew he could finish it off.
“Each inning was a new inning. It didn’t matter what happened the previous inning. It didn’t matter what was going on during that game,” Alvey said. “We just had to go out there and finish what we started.”
Alvey and the Bruins didn’t let the Panthers get any closer and returned home with a 7-2 road win over the district foe.
Staying on through the game’s remainder also gave Alvey a complete game, finishing with 14 strikeouts and holding Elizabethtown to three hits and three walks.
“We came out confident. We beat them at home, but this one’s a lot bigger,” Alvey said of the win. “The bigger the game, the more hype you get in the dugout and the more ready you are.”
In addition to giving Central Hardin a regular-season sweep of Elizabethtown, Thursday’s victory also secured the Bruins the No. 1 seed in the upcoming 17th District Tournament.
The Bruins further finished their regular-season district schedule at 8-0, capped off by their third straight district win in three straight nights. The team has won its last seven games, with its last loss coming May 1 against South Warren.
“I’m proud of our boys and the way they played today and the progress we’ve made throughout the year. The games that we’ve played so far, we’ve learned something from. I can see a lot of those things that we’ve learned from pop up in this game today,” Central Hardin coach Todd Thompson said. “We’re a much better team than we were three weeks ago. I like our club.”
On the other side, the loss ended a seven-game winning streak for the Panthers. It also put their district record at 6-2, with the team’s only losses in district play coming against Central Hardin.
“We ran into a good arm in Caden Alvey. He threw the ball well and kept us off balance,” Elizabethtown coach Chase Greenwell said. “We just didn’t make the adjustments that we needed to at the plate and on the mound like we should have to get different results, but just proud of the guys and how they hung in there, kept battling and scratched two runs across there in the sixth inning.”
Carson Yates had three of Central Hardin’s seven hits, all three of which were doubles.
Ryder Gregory, Bryce Estes and Brandon Parsons each had one hit for Elizabethtown.
Camden Williams was the Panthers' starting pitcher and stayed on until getting pulled in the top of the fifth inning, finishing with four strikeouts, five hits, four runs and four walks.
Jacob Moberly took Williams's place, finishing the fifth inning and pitching through the top of the sixth. Moberly had one strikeout, two hits, three runs and three walks. Austin Jennings followed in the top of the seventh, earning a strikeout.
Central Hardin (13-9) returns to action at 6:30 p.m. tonight with a home game against St. Henry. Elizabethtown (15-8) travels Saturday to Male next for a noon game.