After losing their two previous matchups to the West Jessamine Colts (15-13-1), head coach Adam Shartzer’s Titans were certainly looking to have the upper hand on Friday, May 26, during the 46th district championship game. Unfortunately, that was not the case as the Titans fell to the Colts by a final score of 12-2 in five innings.
After being rained out two days this week, baseball was finally played on a beautiful afternoon in Nicholasville. Junior Hunter Kelly took the loss for the Titans, pitching two and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on four hits, one walk and one strikeout.
Sharzter didn’t think his team played to the best of their ability and was frustrated after the tough loss.
“We have to throw strikes,” said Shartzer. “When you fall behind and give out 10 freebies and 11 base hits, it’s tough to win a ball game.”
The game couldn’t have gotten out to a better start for the Titans as they crossed the plate first in the top of the first inning, with senior Mason Hazelwood scoring on a passed ball to put the Titans up 1-0.
Mercer struck again in the third, with senior Ty Sims scoring on a fielder’s choice by senior Tanner Robins to push the Titan lead to 2-0. The bottom of the third proved to be the difference in the game. The Colts’ bats woke up and poured it on after trailing 2-0 early, scoring three runs and never looking back.
Kelly struggled to hit his spots in the third inning, and sophomore Josh Barnett was unable to stop the bleeding. Barnett came in to relieve Kelly but was unsuccessful, pitching one and one-thirds innings, giving up eight runs on six hits, three walks and no strikeouts. Hazelwood, Sims, junior Noah Irvin and Smith all recorded one hit against the Colts.
Skyler Canady earned the win for the Colts, pitching three innings, giving up two runs on three hits, two walks and three strikeouts. Sharzter knows things have to improve for the Titans to make a deep region tournament run.
“We are going to have to click in all three aspects of the game,” said Shartzer. “Offense, defense and pitching all need to be on top of their game for us to succeed.”
For full story, pick up a copy of this week’s Harrodsburg Herald.