The Whitley County Colonels dropped their season opener on the diamond to the North Laurel Jaguars Monday night, 5-1.
The Colonels took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when Derek Shelley greeted North Laurel pitcher, Sean Evans with a single. Huddleston moved Shelley to second on a sacrifice then Mark Comparoni’s single put Whitley County on the scoreboard.
The Whitley County defense played flawless through the first four innings. However, the Jaguars’ bats came to life in the late innings. Daniel Smith walked to lead off the top of the fifth and Brice Hicks followed with a double. Chris Maggard singled in the two runs on a base hit and North Laurel moved ahead 2-1.
With North Laurel ahead, the Jaguars added three runs in the top of the sixth when Shawn Broviak led off with walk. David Jones bunted the ball between first and second for a safe hit.
A Whitley County error led to a run when Logan Howell followed with a bunt that was mishandled by the Colonels’ first baseman. With bases loaded, Sean Evans popped out to second, but Smith followed with a sacrifice to second scoring the runner at third.
Hicks followed with a single to left centerfield, scoring Jones and Howell for the final score.
Whitley County tried to rally but left a runner on in the sixth and two in the seventh.
“The defense collapsed in the late innings,” said Whitley County coach John Smith. “We were swinging at pitches out of the strike zone.”
“I think this was a wake up call for us,” said Smith. “We were regional runner-up last year and we return several key players. People are not going to lay down and let us run over them.”
Whitley County was scheduled to host the Clay County Tigers Tuesday night and will meet Pulaski Southwestern Thursday. They are scheduled to play at McCreary Central Saturday at 3:30.
North Laurel 5, Whitley Co. 1
North Laurel 000 023 0- 5 7 2
Whitley Co. 001 000 0- 1 6 2
Evans and Hicks. Dustin Atkins, Jordan McCumbers and Mark Comparoni. WP-Evans, LP-Atkins. 2B-Hicks (NL)