Cody Kalinowski swatted a high-flying three-run homer in the sixth inning, and Drew Schacht made a victory-clinching on-the-run catch in the seventh as host Lexington Christian Academy knocked off No. 15 Lafayette 6-5 Wednesday night.
LCA ended an eight-game losing streak against 43rd District rivals that dated back to last April. What made it even sweeter was that the Eagles battled back from deficits of 3-0 and 4-2 by scoring twice in the fifth and four times in the sixth.
"To come back after being down like that, it's amazing," Kalinowski said.
Schacht was happy that LCA's perseverance finally paid off.
"All year we've been fighting through every game, and we caught a couple unlucky breaks here and there," he said. "So it feels good to finally come out on top."
Schacht had a busy night.
The junior righthander started on the mound and worked six innings to get the win. He also collected four hits and an RBI. And after giving way to reliever Aaron Miley in the seventh, Schacht went to centerfield and made his game-saving catch.
"There's no one we're happier for than Drew," Coach Keith Galloway said. "He's faced tough teams every outing, and it's nice for him to finally get a win.
"He helped us out on offense, defense and on the mound. His passion and enthusiasm carries us a lot, so it's good to see him rewarded, and our team rewarded."
Lafayette nicked Schacht for an unearned run in the first. Alex Daniel's two-out single in the third drove in Shota Hattori to make it 2-0. Kylan Nelson's triple and Hattori's sacrifice fly in the fith made it 3-0.
LCA pulled to within 3-2 in the fifth. Dima Ballard, Schacht, Robbie Stephens and Graham Smith had hits off Generals' starter Jalen Stith. Kalinowski's sacrifice fly chased home Ballard, and Smith's infield single scored pinch runner Ty Stephens.
Lafayette answered with a run in the top of the sixth on Johnny Fangmeyer's two-out double to make it 4-2.
LCA beat up on Generals' reliever Andrew Fouch in the bottom of the sixth.
Pinch-hitter Isaac Shewmaker led off with a single. Schacht's one-out RBI double made it 4-3. After Stephens reached on an infield hit, the left-handed hitting Kalinowski turned on a breaking ball and sent it soaring toward the right-field foul pole.
"I thought it was blowing foul," Kalinowski said. "Thank God it didn't."
Schacht watched anxiously from the dugout. "My heart stopped when it left his bat," he said. "I knew it had a chance. Cody came up big for us ... a senior play."
Kalinowski credited Schacht for battling on the mound: "He fought his heart out. Even when he got hit a little, the team had confidence he'd come back and throw strikes, and he did."
Staked to a 6-4 lead, Miley came on to pitch the seventh for LCA. He gave up a one-out walk to Jacob Abbott, and Daniel followed with a run-scoring double. He went to third on the throw home.
After Miley got the second out on a pop-up, Lafayette's C.J. Compton smoked a line drive to center that looked like it might clear Schacht and tie the game.
"When it came off the bat I had a pretty good bead on it. It was tailing away from me, but all I was thinking was 'catch it and end the game.'"
That's what he did, ending the game and LCA's district losing streak.
LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN 6, LAFAYETTE 5
Lafayette 101 011 1—5 8 0
Lexington Christian 000 024 x—6 12 1
Drew Schacht, Aaron Miley (7) and Graham Smith, Hunter Wills (7). Jalen Stith, Andrew Fouch (6) and C.J. Compton. 2B--Schacht (LCA), Johnny Fangmeyer (L), 3B--Kylan Nelson (L). HR--Cody Kalinowski (LCA).
Records—Lafayette 11-8; LCA 10-11.