Prep baseball: Madison Central holds off LexCath 8-7 in 8 innings

mfields@herald-leader.comApril 29, 2014 

Madison Central was a rain-soaked and bone-chilled baseball team Tuesday night.

The Indians were also a happy bunch after rallying to beat No. 5 Lexington Catholic 8-7 in eight innings.

Madison Central trailed 3-0 after five innings before scoring once in the sixth and twice in the seventh to tie it.

The Indians put up a five-spot in the eighth inning to take an 8-4 lead, then held on as Lexington Catholic scored four runs before leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth.

It was Madison Central's 20th victory — the most in the 11th Region — and ended a five-game losing streak to Lexington Catholic.

"I'm definitely proud of our guys, they're a tough group," Madison Central Coach Steve Roof said. "They never quit."

Both teams' pitching staffs were pretty well spent after playing three games in the Louisville Invitational Tournament over the weekend.

Madison Central used four pitchers and Lexington Catholic used five in their extra-inning battle that was played in steady rain throughout the middle innings.

The Indians won despite collecting only four hits. But they took advantage of four errors by the Knights. Three of their runs in the eighth came on a pair of wild pitches and a passed ball.

"Obviously, we just try to manufacture runs. We've been able to do that all year," Roof said. "Whether it's by running the bases, freebies, timely hits, whatever.

"We just ask them to play hard. Two things we can control are effort and attitude, and that's what we try to do."

Ben Morin, one of 10 underclassmen in Madison Central's starting lineup, said the Indians "have come a long way since the beginning of the year. We weren't all together then, but we've really worked hard and come together since spring break."

Morin drew a pair of walks and scored twice batting leadoff.

Seth Richardson and Hunter Kabalen each had a hit and an RBI. Nick Kavanaugh scored twice, and Jacob Frazier had a pinch-hit, run-scoring double to cap Madison Central's five-run eighth.

Lexington Catholic also had two costly errors in that inning.

The Knights took an early 2-0 lead on singles by Griffin Neuer and Taylor Henley. Connor Cleary and Henley drove in the runs. The hosts made it 3-0 in the fifth on Riley Jackson's sacrifice fly that scored Cleary.

Madison Central got a strong relief appearance from senior right-hander Austin Templeton. Using his side-winder delivery, he limited Lexington Catholic to one hit in three innings before tiring in the eighth.

"He's been in that situation a lot of times and he's used to it," Roof said of Templeton. "I definitely thought he did a good job."

Lexington Catholic made it interesting in the bottom of the eighth. Its first three batters reached on two errors and a hit-by-a-pitch, sparking a four-run rally.

But Indians reliever Kyle Kelsey got a bases-loaded groundout to end it.

Madison Central 8, Lex. Catholic 7 (8)

Madison Central 000 001 25—8 4 3

Lexington Catholic 020 010 04—7 8 4

Trey Sexton, Brady McBride (3), Austin Templeton (5), Kyle Kelsey (8) and Cory Mullins. Anthony Ethington, Will Sherman (3), Sam Armstrong (6), Gatewood Robbins (7), Carson Coleman (8) and Riley Jackson. 2B--Jacob Frazier (MC).

Records: Madison Central 20-6; Lexington Catholic 17-8

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

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