|Highlands beats NewCath for Eighth Straight Time|
|PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands third baseman Sam Hennigan (left) and shortstop Brady Gosney (right) go for a ground ball against Newport Central Catholic on Wednesday.|
The key for the Highlands Bluebirds baseball team (11-8 overall, 2-0 36th District) has been not to focus on the winning streak but on beating the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (12-7, 3-1) that day. The Bluebirds overcame the Thoroughbreds by a 6-2 margin Wednesday in the latest chapter of the rivalry at Highland Park. Highlands moved to 7-2 in 9th Region action with the win.
"NewCath has been playing some good baseball," said Jeremy Baioni, Highlands Head Coach. "All three of our pitchers threw good games. We made some nice plays behind them defensively."
Highlands answered a NewCath first inning run with three of its own in the bottom of the frame. The Bluebirds then added three more in the bottom of the fourth inning to build some distance.
The Bluebirds managed seven hits in the win. Senior Trey Bowden led the way going 2-for-3 with a double, two runs batted in and two runs scored. Bowden was also hit by a pitch and stole third in the bottom of the sixth.
Bowden's double off the wall in the fourth inning scored Kyle Rust and Ethan Kavanagh. Ethan Doty then doubled him in to make the score 6-1 in favor of Highlands.
"You always want to increase the lead as much as you can and you always want to help your pitcher out as much as you can," Bowden said. "That's what we did with that double. We all played well. It always feels good beating NewCath. We're always taking every game seriously."
Doty picked up the pitching win throwing the first five innings. He struck out five, walked four and allowed just two hits. Junior Hunter Dreves pitched the sixth inning allowing just a walk and senior Drew Rom struck out the side in the seventh to finish the game.
The pitchers had great support behind them. Third baseman Sam Hennigan, shortstop Brady Gosney and Kavanagh had at least two assists defensively as the Bluebird pitchers induced a lot of ground balls. Gosney added a double at the plate.
"You can't really predict where the ball is going to go," Henningan said. "You have to adjust to where the ball is going to make the play. Defense helps a lot."
Brian Wells led off the game reaching on an error for the Thoroughbreds. That marked the lone error for the Bluebirds. Wells moved to second on a wild pitch and scored when Kyle Losey singled him home. Wells later doubled in the fifth inning for the only other NewCath hit of the game.
Highlands took advantage of NewCath's lone error of the game in the bottom of the first. Rust singled and Kavanagh bunted him to second. After Bowden was hit by a pitch, Doty hit a routine ground ball to short for what could have been an inning-ending double play. But the errant throw went into the outfield allowing Rust and Bowden to score.
Junior Joe Steiden came in to run for Doty. Steiden advanced to third when Kyle Finfrock singled and scored when Rom grounded out.
Highlands plays in the Louisville Invitational Tournament over the weekend. The Bluebirds face Lexington Tates Creek (11-6) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Christian Academy of Louisville.