Nathan Turner terrific in Bledsoe win

Nathan Turner terrific in Bledsoe win

March 28th, 2013 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Bledsoe County's Ben Dean, center, is congratulated at the plate after a two-run home run in the fifth inning at Notre Dame. From left are Garrett Cagle, Dean, Hunter Bishop and Nathan Turner. Bledsoe County defeated the Irish 5-1.

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

Bledsoe County's game plan for pitcher Nathan Turner was to pitch to contact.

The senior came up with a better idea -- pitch for no contact.

Now a four-year member of the Warriors' pitching staff, Turner struck out 12 and walked only one in visiting Bledsoe County's 5-1 victory over Notre Dame.

"It's the most strikeouts I've had this season. It might be a career high," said Turner, who finished with a five-hitter, gave up two hits in the second and then one each in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings.

The left-hander might use his change-up more often in future games.

"Today's the first time the change has been effective," he said after adding the pitch to a four-seam fastball and a curveball.

"He's consistent, battled-tested. I always know what I'm going to get from him," Bledsoe coach Dustin Smith said.

He was just as pleased with the rest of his team as he was with Turner.

"This is as good as we've played all year," the coach said.

No defensive play could have been bigger than that of center-fielder Silas Mills, who gloved a sixth-inning shot by the Irish's Nick Chambers. He crashed into the fence, bobbled the ball and then pulled it in.

"It was an amazing play," Turner said. "It helps you remain calm when you know your defense is behind you."

Mills showed he could play when he started for the Warriors last year as a freshman.

"Awesome catch," Smith said. "He's one of the better athletes in school."

As Mills provided defense, Ben Dean keyed the Warriors' offense and providing Turner with a larger comfort zone with a two-run, fifth-inning blast to right-center. The homer took Bledsoe from a 3-0 lead to a five-run advantage.

Mills and Taylor Wooden also had RBIs and Gage Frady went 2-for-4. Matt Rouche and Josh Russell had two hits apiece for the Irish.

The teams will play again tonight in Pikeville.