If you consider extra innings a reliable indicator of competitiveness between two baseball teams, then last weekend’s All “A” Classic was the most competitive edition of the small-school tournament ever held.
Louisville Holy Cross defeated Caldwell County, 5-3, in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. It was the first finals appearance for both schools, who played the longest championship game (in terms of innings) in the tournament’s 14-year history. All told, four of the weekend’s seven games went to extra innings.
The Holy Cross-Caldwell bout matched the tournament record for innings played, which was set the previous day when Lexington Christian knocked out Walton-Verona, 7-4, in 10 frames. Caldwell County followed up LCA’s marathon with a 1-0 victory over Bishop Brossart in eight innings. The Tigers then defeated LCA, 4-3, in eight innings in Sunday morning’s semifinal.
“It definitely was one of the most competitive All ‘A’s’ that I can remember,” LCA Coach Keith Galloway said. “Why that was, I don’t really know. I think you had quality pitchers throwing that threw really good games and executed things. (In) all the games that I watched, the defenses made most of the plays, so it really was about pitching and defense. When you have those two factors going, you’re gonna have tight, close ball games and it’s gonna be decided in either extra innings or by a run or two.”
Before last weekend, only six games in All “A” Classic history had gone beyond seven innings. Three games took nine innings to determine a winner, including Beechwood’s 6-5 victory over Owensboro Catholic in the 2006 finals.
Holy Cross became the seventh school to win an All “A” baseball championship and the fifth private school to do so.
▪ Lafayette baseball coach Chris Langston picked up his 500th win as a head coach with the Generals’ 9-2 decision at Paul Laurence Dunbar on Tuesday. Per the KHSAA record books entering this season, Langston is the 30th coach in state history to reach 500 wins and ranks 10th among all active coaches. He’s second behind only Dom Fucci (who finished with 542 wins in 23 seasons) among Lexington coaches historically.
▪ A.J. Hacker threw a no-hitter in Rowan County’s 8-0 victory over Bath County on Wednesday, locking up the No. 1 seed in the 61st district for the Vikings (19-12) in the process. Hacker has thrown multiple complete games with one or two hits this season but that the first no-hitter for the sophomore, who’s beginning to receive interest from UK, U of L and EKU, among others.
▪ Danville’s 9-0 baseball win over Campbellsville on Wednesday was victory No. 400 for Coach Paul Morse.
▪ Paris’ softball team continues to make history this season. The Greyhounds defeated Clark County, 11-1 in six innings, on Wednesday, giving the program its first win in history over the Cardinals.