Heroics from Case gives Southwestern victory over Rockcastle

May 7—On a rainy Monday evening, the Southwestern Warriors were the only local team to play baseball as they welcomed in the Rockcastle County Rockets. The Warriors also celebrated senior night, honoring seniors Daniel Case, Hunter Lewis, Tucker McKee, Wyatt Morgan and Cameron Shipp. It was a low offense game for both teams as neither could make any sort of good contact on the ball. Tied 0-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, a walk-off double gave the Warriors a 1-0 win in what was a pitcher's duel.

Wyatt Morgan drew the start on the mound for the Warriors and after a quick first out, sophomore Phoenix Pitman hit a double to right field to give the Rockets a runner in scoring position. Junior Carson Carrera was hit by a pitch before a single from freshman Cameron Smith loaded the bases up. It looked almost certain that the Rockets would score the first run of the game, but a ground ball to Hunter Lewis was able to be turned for a double play, retiring the side and getting the Warriors out of the jam.

Jackson Couch led off the bottom of the first and was hit by a pitch to reach first base safely. A strikeout senior Skyler Durham followed for the first out, although Jonah Brock was able to hit an infield single to give Southwestern two runners on base. Durham was able to turn a double play on the next ground ball however, sitting the Warriors down to keep the game scoreless.

Morgan made quick work of the Rockets in the top of the second, striking out two of the three batters he faced. It was the same for Durham on the mound in the bottom of the frame, striking out two of the three batters he faced.

Senior Benjamin Brown hit a single to lead off the top of the third and made it all the way to third base before a pop out ended their chance at a score. Durham struck out the first two batters in the Warriors' half of the inning before Couch was hit by another pitch to make it to first. He was left stranded there following a ground out.

Morgan was able to get another strikeout in the fourth, allowing freshman Ezekiel Fain to reach base after a walk. Likewise, Durham added another strikeout as well in the bottom of the fourth, as neither team could score the first run.

Jonas Gallagher came in to pitch in the top of the fifth and retired all three batters with just seven pitches, including the last one via a strikeout. Senior Tucker McKee was hit by the first pitch in the bottom of the inning to reach base safely. Jayce Gager hit a single to replace the runner on first, making it up to second after a sacrifice bunt from Daniel Case. Another strikeout from Durham ended the frame as it seemed like the first team to score here would take home the victory.

Gallagher continued his good work on the mound in the sixth, striking out two of the three batters he faced. Durham quickly got two out in the home half of the sixth, including sitting one batter down with a strikeout. A single from Brock gave the Warriors a bit of hope before a ground out brought the sixth to a close.

Two more strikeouts from Gallagher and quickly the Rockets were sat down in the top of the seventh, giving the Warriors one final chance to score before the game would be sent into extra innings. Cameron Shipp was walked to begin the bottom of the seventh, although Durham was able to strike out the next two batters to bring the Warriors down to their final out. Shipp made it to third base to put the winning run very close to scoring when Case went up to bat. The senior, on senior night no less, drove home the winning run with a double on a fly ball to deep center, giving the Warriors a 1-0 victory over the Rockets.

Case had the lone RBI for the Warriors, with Gager and Brock also adding hits. Brock also had a stolen base in the contest. Morgan went four innings in his start on the mound, allowing just three hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Gallagher earned the win, pitching three innings and allowing no hits with five strikeouts. Durham also had a terrific game on the mound despite the loss, allowing one run on four hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts.

Southwestern improves to 11-16 and will next be on the road on Tuesday to take on Clay County before traveling to crosstown rival Somerset on Friday.