John Stinetorf’s final at-bat took more than three hours to complete, but it paid off.
The Lafayette junior swung nailed a double into left field that scored Tyler Guilfoil from second base to extend the Generals’ lead to 4-1 over Tates Creek in the 43rd District semifinals Tuesday night at Paul Laurence Dunbar. That ended up being the final score of a game that experienced a series of lightning delays lasting more than three hours in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The game, which began at 5:30 p.m., clocked in at five hours and 14 minutes in length.
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Stinetorf was facing a 3-2 count with two outs when the original delay occurred at 7:06 p.m. He had fun while in the dugout, tweeting during the delay that it was the “longest at bat of my life.” He started a Twitter poll asking users if he should “swing” or “take” when the game resumed.
The “swings” had it.
“Getting that big hit kind of took a little of the pressure off,” Lafayette Coach Chris Langston said of resuming play.
After the game ended Stinetorf tweeted again, thanking everyone who voted in his poll and said the RBI was “yours and mine.”
Brady Bowling got the win for Lafayette. He went five complete innings and returned to the mound after the layoff but issued a walk. He was relieved by Guilfoil, who ended both the sixth and seventh innings with strikeouts after drawing contact that resulted in double plays.
Langston said Bowling wanted to go for the complete game so the staff allowed him to go back for one at-bat to see how he felt.
“He wasn’t hurting or anything,” Langston said. “The trainer looked at him and everything was good. We said, ‘Look, we’ll give ya a chance cause it’s your ball,’ and he said it felt really good he just didn’t know where it was going.”
Lafayette went up 3-1 earlier in the fifth inning after Luke Taylor scored off an error by Tates Creek catcher Colin Burgess, who attempted the throw as Burgess stole third base off a ball thrown into the dirt.
That was Lafayette's second run off a miscue in the contest. The Generals tied the game at 1-1 on a wild pitch in the bottom of the second. Hall beat a throw to first base later in the second frame to come away with an infield single that scored the go-ahead run for Lafayette.
Tates Creek went up 1-0 on a single by Burgess in the top of the first inning. That was the first of only three hits for the Commodores through the time of suspension.
Bowling got the win. He allowed the one run while walking and striking out four batters.
Commodores starter Blayne Deaton struck out three and walked three Generals while giving up four hits. Evan Hall, a senior, relieved the sophomore to begin the fifth inning and completed the game upon the resumption of play. He allowed two hits and struck out three Generals.
Lafayette will meet the winner of the other 43rd District semifinal game between Lexington Catholic and Lexington Christian. That contest was originally scheduled to begin after the Lafayette-Tates Creek game but was postponed until 6 p.m. Wednesday at Dunbar.
The championship game, originally scheduled for Wednesday night, has been moved to 7:30 p.m. Thursday.