By Stephen Henderson
The Patrick County High School Cougar baseball team lost 12-0 to a powerful Abingdon team in the opening round of Conference 32 play last Monday afternoon.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when Abingdon picked up three runs on two hits. They scored four more in the fifth inning and three in the sixth to claim the first round conference win.
Kristian Ashburn, Austin Vernon, Caleb Pendleton and Andrew Collins each had a hit in the game with Ashburn and Collins hitting doubles.
Caleb Pendleton started on the mound and pitched 3.1 innings. Austin Vernon came in for 1.2 innings and Dylan Phillips finished up on the mound for the Cougars.
“We ran into a great baseball team led by a great coach in Mark Francisco today. I think they’re the best team we’ve seen all year, and today was indicative of that,” Coach Matt Mabe said. “We competed as we have for much of the year; today, they were simply better.”
Mabe is looking forward to upcoming teams at PCHS. “Although success in the win column was not what we hoped, I think this season will be invaluable to our young team and the returners as they grow both mentally and physically,” he said.
“I would like to thank our coaching staff for their hard work. I could not have asked for a better group of men who do it for the right reasons,” Mabe said.
Caches Eric Renegar, Donny Rakes and Sid Kirk work at the high school, and Dale Overfelt and Derrick Hopkins work with the middle school.
Mabe complimented the two senior Cougars who will be graduating this season.
Eli Horton was a three-year starter on the Cougar varsity squad and ended second on the team in batting average.
Aubrey Hopkins stepped in this year and started every game behind the plate. “He improved so much throughout the year—I am very proud of his effort this year,” Mabe said.
The Cougars ended the season with a 2-17 record.