OLIVE HILL —
The West Carter baseball team is partying like it’s 1995.
Ben Jordan brought the party favors as he scattered four hits over five innings while striking out six as the Comets swept the Raiders in the regular season with a 3-0 win in Olive Hill.
“It feels good to sweep our crosstown rivals,” Jordan said. “But they’re a good solid team. We knew we had to play well to get this win and fortunately we did.”
Jordan, who uses three pitches, a fastball, curveball and changeup, put East Carter (12-13) in a tough hole. At one point, he retired nine of the 11 batters he faced from the second through the fourth innings.
“He was wicked,” West Carter coach Tim Johnson said. “He located his fastball for strikes and an unhittable changeup behind that. He got hitters off balance and he wore them out at the plate.”
The Comet offense gave Jordan enough cushion in the first inning. Back-to-back singles by JT Johnson and Kaden Rose, and a walk to Jordan allowed Spencer Phillips to rope a single to left for an RBI. Two batters later, Chase Hanshaw had a base hit to center field to score Trey Greenhill.
With Jordan dealing on the mound, East Carter’s best chance to put runs up on the board came in the top of the fifth inning. Singles by Jacob Perkins and Cole Brammer and a wild pitch put both of them in scoring position. But Jordan got Zack Cathey to ground out to end the threat.
“That was the spot where we had to score,” East Carter coach Jeremiah Shearer said. “Two runners on and our leadoff hitter was up and we couldn’t get them in. That’s baseball and it’s a situation where we wanted to get a run or two across and make them play with some pressure, but it just didn’t happen.”
Jordan, who pitched in the 8-0 win over East Carter back on April 18, stayed in control and Shearer tips his hat to Jordan for stymying his offense once again.
“He was the difference in the ball game,” Shearer said. “We like our chances against anybody on that roster on the mound except Ben Jordan. He was dominant again. He threw a fastball, curveball, and a changeup for strikes.”
West Carter (16-2) added an insurance run in the fifth inning on a Johnson single to center, scoring Dalton Brown.
With the win, the Comets clinch the No. 1 seed in this year’s 62nd District tournament and earn an automatic berth in the 16th Region Tournament.
“That was one of our goals was to get the top seed in district,” Jordan said. “Knowing that we’re also in the region, too, makes this one more special. We just still need to work hard. We can’t take these last few games off. Every game counts.”
“We’ve been very fortunate both times we’ve played East Carter,” Johnson said. “Now we feel like we’re in control going in to the district championship because we don’t have to pitch anybody the day before.”
With such a young group of players, (West Carter starts four freshman, two eighth graders, and one sophomore), Johnson is seeing his team grow into something special in the first year of his tenure.
“They’ve learned how to win,” Johnson said. “We don’t play our best every night out, but we do the little things and sacrifice for each other. That’s what makes a good team.”
E. CARTER 000 000 0 — 0 5 0
W. CARTER 200 010 x — 3 8 0
WP—Jordan, Rose. Rose, McGlone 6th