By DOUG EADS
Southwestern and Pulaski County met on the diamond for the first time on Saturday afternoon, and while the game only lasted five innings due to the mercy rule, Jeffrey Madden and the homestanding Warriors only needed one inning to put the Maroons away.
Madden belted a two-run homer to right center field in the home half of the first inning, and that followed a two-run blast from third baseman Noah Helton earlier in the frame off of PC starter Jace Lancaster.
Thanks to being staked to a very quick 4-0 cushion over the Maroons after only one inning of play, Madden and the Warriors remained perfect on the young season, with a 10-0 triumph over PC in a game shortened to five innings.
“Whether you want to admit it or not, these cross-town rivalry games are a little different, and they should be different, because they mean a little more,” stated Warrior head coach Alex Eaton, after his club moved to 4-0 on the season with the win.
“There’s a little more pride in these games, and I was awfully pleased with the way (Jeffrey) Madden came out and attacked the zone and went after their hitters,” added the Southwestern skipper.
While Madden — along with Helton — did big-time damage at the plate in that decisive first inning for Southwestern, the story of the day for the Warriors was the job Madden did on the mound in five innings of work.
The senior hurler only allowed Pulaski County a pair of hits on the day — one coming on an infield single off the bat of Drew Polston — while fanning 10 Maroon hitters over those five innings of work.
Not wanting to take anything at all away from Madden or his performance in the contest, PC head coach Josh Anderson lamented afterwards that he didn’t think his team came out ready to play or compete against one of its arch-rivals.
“Not a whole lot to say,” stated Anderson immediately following the game.
“We didn’t show up to play and Southwestern did,” added the PC coach. “You have to show up with intensity and ready to compete at a high level against every opponent, especially against good teams, or you will get what we got today. Good teams will put you away early if you’re not ready. We will have to keep working and hopefully be better as the season progresses.”
After that four-run first inning on the strength of those two long bombs, the Warriors and Madden were cruising along with a 4-0 lead, until breaking this one wide open by tacking on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth off of Lancaster.
And, once again it came courtesy of the long ball.
Tanner McBryde took Lancaster deep to right field with another two-run shot — the Warriors third two-run homer of the day — extending the advantage out to 7-0 at that juncture.
The Warriors had scored a lone run earlier in the frame thanks to an RBI ground out off the bat of Ethan Jones.
Southwestern then put this one away with a three-spot in the home half of the fifth inning, thanks to a bases loaded walk off of reliever Alex Acey, and an RBI ground out from Tanner McKee, and a run-scoring single by Jones.
The win moved the Warriors to 4-0 on the season, while PC with the loss fell to 3-2 on the year.
Both teams will return to action on Monday afternoon, as PC will travel to Berea to face Madison Southern at 5:30 p.m., while the Warriors will be back at home at 6 p.m. to host Campbellsville.
PC — 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 2 5
SW — 4 0 0 3 3 — 10 6 0
2B — SW — Helton
HR — SW — Helton, Madden, T. McBryde
RBI — SW — Madden 2, Jones 2, Helton 2, T. McBryde 2, McKee, Howard.
WP — Madden
LP — Lancaster