State baseball: Henderson County's big cushion enough to hold off Meade County

mfields@herald-leader.comJune 8, 2012 

  • Friday's semifinals

    Woodford County 6, Bishop Brossart 0

    Henderson County 10, Meade County 6

    Saturday's championship

    7 p.m.: Woodford County (33-6) vs. Henderson County (29-13-1)

Henderson County, which won a state baseball championship in 2000, will go for another title Saturday night.

The Colonels earned that chance by beating Meade County 10-6 in the semifinals of the Kentucky National Insurance/KHSAA State Tournament at Whitaker Bank Ballpark on Friday night.

Henderson County (29-13-1) will play Woodford County (33-6) in Saturday's 7 p.m. title game.

Meade County led 1-0 after three innings, but failed to capitalize on other opportunities.

"When it was 1-0, I told our guys it probably felt like we were down 5-0," Henderson County Coach Nathan Isenberg said. "But our pitching and defense ... we bent but we didn't break.

"It's a credit to how much fight these guys have."

Isenberg wasn't worried the game might be another low-scoring nail-biter, like the Colonels' 1-0 nine-inning victory over Newport Central Catholic in the quarterfinals.

"I knew (Meade County) was low on pitching, so I knew if we stayed at it, we'd get some runs off those guys," Isenberg said.

Sure enough, Henderson County lit up Green Wave pitching for six runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth.

Meade County helped fuel the Colonels' fourth-inning rally by issuing three walks, making three errors and uncorking a wild pitch that allowed a run to score.

Justin Cessna's three-run triple was the big hit in the comeback.

Meade County didn't go down quietly, though. Down 9-1, it rallied for five runs in the sixth to make things a little uneasy for the Colonels.

"Like they always say, in state tournament anything can happen," Cessna said. "It's crazy out here."

Meade County got those five runs off Henderson County reliever Daniel Steiner. Isenberg had to bring back to mound Colton Jones, who pitched the fourth and fifth in relief, to stem the Green Wave tide.

The Colonels used ace Sam Higgs to close out the seventh. Higgs was the winning pitcher in the first-round win over North Oldham, and also worked two innings of relief in the win over NewCath. Higgs figures to start against Woodford County in the finals.

The Colonels, who had only two hits in the quarterfinals, had 12 in the semifinals.

Quinn Thomas led the offense with three hits and three runs. Jones had two hits and two RBI, and Daniel Steiner had two hits and scored a run.

Meade Co. 001 005 0— 6 9 5

Henderson Co. 000 631 x—10 12 3

Jake Wilson, Zeb Wilson (4) and Brady Smith. Avery Pitt, Colton Jones (4), Daniel Steiner (6) , Jones (6), Sam Higgs (7) and Andrew Richmond. 2B--Sam Higgs (HC), Daniel Kaiser (MC). 3B--Justin Cessna (MC).

Records—Meade Co. 27-10; Henderson Co. 29-13-1.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com

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