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King of the hill

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By Chris Cannon

ccannon@lafollettepress.com

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Hunter Scott is certainly making a name for himself on the mound for the Campbell County Cougars.

The Louisiana native currently holds a 0.53 ERA through 26 innings pitched. He holds a 2-2 record as Campbell County’s starting pitcher.

On Monday night, Scott only allowed tossed in six strikeouts in only five innings of play.

“That’s a tough mound to throw off of,” Cougar head coach Ryan Browning said. “It messes with your mechanics, and he did a good job. He wasn’t his sharpest, but he made adjustments and threw strikes.”

Although Scott wasn’t his sharpest, his pitching was still impressive.

The Central Bobcats hung only the second earned run of Scott’s season on him during the bottom of the third, as it compiled a double and two singles.

“They hit a couple balls harder than what Powell did, and he pitched to contact,” Browning said. “He got that curve ball over a couple of times and got some Ks. Coming back on that, that’s probably the shortest turnaround. That’s what I worry about, is coming back on a shorter day and getting the game over with, just so he don’t have to throw more.”

Scott had pitched 112 pitches in last Wednesday’s 5-2 victory over Powell, before coming back not even a week later for another District 3-AAA challenge.

For Scott, however, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

“It really didn’t bother me,” Scott said. “I’ve been throwing at least 100 pitches. I’ve thrown four games, and each one of them have been near 100 pitches. I could probably throw 150 if I needed.”

Scott’s season has been impressive. Currently, his 0.53 ERA is ranked at eighth in the state, according to MaxPreps. Matt Hisong of Franklin Road Academy and Austin Goforth of Meigs County each lead the way with a 0.00 ERA.

On the national level, Scott would be ranked 51st. However a pitcher needs 32 and 2/3 innings in order to reach that chart. Scott has only 26 innings in four games.

“I just don’t think about it,” Scott said. “I just do what I’ve got to do and let everybody else do their job.”

Following the Powell victory, Scott held an ERA of 0.33. That total would be good enough for 10th in the nation.

However, while Scott is pitching, he needs his team to back him for the wins.

“We need the bats,” the senior said. “If I’m throwing strikes and keeping the other team down, we’ve got to get in there and hit, get on the bases and drive people in.”

On Tuesday, the Cougars did just that.

Coming into the game, Campbell County found themselves with two outs in both the first and second innings. However, between the two innings, the Cougars rallied for eight runs, as they jumped to an early 8-0 advantage.

“A team like that that’s been struggling, when you get on them early, it really works on their psyche,” Browning said. “I thought we did a great job with two outs. Two strikes. We had a lot of bats with two strikes. We found some gappers. I’d say that we hit four or five gappers – four or five doubles. That’s big for us. That gets another person in scoring position.”

Campbell County doused Central with five doubles, as Andrew Evans lead the way. Evans had a big night at the plate, as he bounced a ball off the centerfield wall, as he accounted for two of the Cougars doubles.

He went 3-for-3 at the plate, as he accounted for four RBIs and two runs scored.

Evans said he’s just glad he could help his team.

“We’re pumped up,” Evans said. “Maybe, we’ll get on a role and keep winning them. It feels great, since we’ve been in a slump this year. We’ve started winning.”

Between the two district wins, Evans went 5-for-6 with the stick (0.833), scoring four runs, four RBIs, two steals and two doubles.

To Browning, however, it was a chance to test his team.

“This is the game that I wanted to see how hungry they were,” he said. “After having that success Wednesday against Powell, would we come back and just go through the motions and think people were just going to bow down because you won a game. I think we came out with a mindset. They made some mistakes in the first inning, dropped the ball, and we made them pay. That got our bats going.”