Kentucky High School Baseball: 11th Region Semifinals Recap

Locked in a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning Tuesday night, Lexington Catholic got the heart of its order on the board and the Knights knew it was time to make something happen if they wanted to move on from the 11th baseball tournament Region. semifinals at Bryan Station High School.

“We were struggling at the start and we ended up making some adjustments,” Lexington Catholic first baseman Zach Rayyan said of his team’s struggles against Great Crossing starter Coleton Arbaugh, who had allowed just two hits to that point. and no points.

Jackson Wasik led off the sixth with a single to center and moments later advanced to second base on a passed ball. That prompted Great Crossing to intentionally walk LexCath’s leading hitter, Owen Jenkins, for the second time in the game.

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Then came a controversial hit by pitch, called by the home plate umpire, after the Knights’ Cody Decker bunted. Great Crossing’s coaches argued that Decker waved at the field, but they couldn’t convince the officiating crew.

The bases got loaded for Rayyan.

“We had to do something, and I got it done,” Rayyan said.

Lexington Catholic’s Zach Rayyan looks Tuesday at the flight of his single to right that helped the Knights score two runs in a 4-0 win against Great Crossing in the 11th Region baseball tournament. Lexington Catholic coach Scott Downs cheers at right. Jared Peck [email protected]

Rayyan’s line drive to right field scored Wasik and Jenkins. Brady Wasik followed with a well-placed groundout to score again for a 3-0 lead. Then, Lexington Catholic starting pitcher Burkley Bounds helped his own cause with an RBI double to left to determine the final margin.

“It was a 10-pitch at-bat and I thought he was supposed to throw me a fastball,” Bounds said. “It was a fastball low and in, and I just turned it on.”

Bounds pitched a complete game, scattering five hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Great Crossing’s best chance to score came in the fourth inning when Nate Adkins hit a one-out single, followed by Peyton Mullanix’s double to right. That put runners on second and third base, but Burkley got a strikeout and a fly ball to center to end the threat.

“I knew I just had to keep throwing strikes and keep playing defense,” Bounds said.

Great Crossing (22-9), which defeated LexCath 11-5 in Lexington on May 2, was eliminated from the postseason by the Knights for the second straight year. This was a rematch of the 2023 regional final, a 3-1 victory for the Knights.

Next, Lexington Catholic (25-11) will have a chance to defend its region title against a surprising Franklin County team in Wednesday’s final at 6 p.m.

“We just have to stick to our approach and keep playing like we are,” Bounds said. “We have won seven games in a row. We just have to keep going.”

Franklin County’s Jack Ross slips under the tag applied by Henry Clay’s Mason Draper during the Flyers’ 4-0 win against Henry Clay in the 11th Region baseball tournament on Tuesday. Jared Peck [email protected]

Franklin County knocks off Henry Clay

Depending on who was keeping score, Franklin County starting pitcher Jacob Golson threw a no-hitter or a two-hit shutout in the Flyers’ 3-0 victory over Henry Clay in the 11th Region semifinals Tuesday at Bryan Station.

Henry Clay’s stats cited two Franklin County errors in the outfield double play for the Blue Devils, while Franklin County’s stats keeper labeled them as errors.

Regardless, Golson struck out seven and walked one as he shut out the Blue Devils (25-14) in what his coach called an “off the charts” performance.

With this, Franklin County erased any doubt that a team that started the season 3-12 could play with the big boys.

“We just kept fighting and fighting – overcoming adversity, that’s the most important thing,” Golson said. “We’re starting to play as a team and make the plays we need to and be smart.”

Fresh off their upset of No. 20 Madison Central on Monday night, the Flyers caused problems for Henry Clay from the start, putting runners on first and third base with one out in each of the first two innings.

While Henry Clay starter Giancarlo Gonzalez escaped each of those problems without conceding a single run, a troubling trend had established itself.

In the fourth inning, Franklin County again put runners on the corners with one out.

When Kaelin Farr hit a chopper back to Gonzalez from Henry Clay on the mound, the Flyers’ Jack Ross broke from third base toward home after contact. He slid in safely under the catcher’s tag for a 1-0 lead.

“It felt great to get that first run,” Ross said. “We had runners in almost every inning. It felt like we had a block, but once we got that run, we just broke through it.

In the fifth inning, back-to-back singles by Cameron McDonald and Jeremy Walters and a one-out walk by Ross loaded the bases. A wild pitch allowed McDonald to score for a 2-0 lead. Armstrong then hit a sacrifice fly to score Walters.

Since that 3-12 start, Franklin County (18-19) has won 15 of its last 22 games and two straight to advance to the Flyers’ first appearance in the 11th Region Finals since 2001, when they won it all and advanced to the state semifinals.

“Our record isn’t really indicative of our team because we’ve played everyone this year,” said Franklin County coach Deron McDonald, who helmed that 2001 team and is in his third season back as head coach after 10 having been away for years. . “We went to Florida to play 7A and 8A schools to see 90 mph pitching so that when we come back we are ready to play. We’ve been playing Kentucky commits and Western (Kentucky) commits all year and I told them to just keep grinding and we’ll put the ball in play when it’s time, we’ll make plays when it’s time and we’ll pitch when it’s time.”

Lexington Catholic’s Burkley Bounds pitched a complete-game shutout in the Knights’ 4-0 win against Franklin County on Tuesday in the 11th Region baseball tournament. Jared Peck [email protected]
Franklin County’s Jacob Golson threw a complete game against Henry Clay in a 4-0 win against the Blue Devils in the 11th Region baseball tournament on Tuesday. Jared Peck [email protected]

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