After two one-and-done appearances in the 11th Region tournament following a 43rd District championship, Lafayette was due.
The Generals embraced their latest trip to the fullest, pounding Franklin County 10-0 in five innings at Madison Southern. Lafayette made the semifinals for the first time since 2004, when it eventually went on to play in the state baseball finals. It ended a streak of four straight losses in the 11th Region tournament dating back to 2005.
“It was nice to get some hits,” said Lafayette Coach Chris Langston, whose team came away with 12 hits to just four for the Flyers. “… I’m proud of all of ’em. They’ve been working hard all year for this and now we get to play another day.”
Eddie Satisky got the start for the Generals following a rocky effort against Lexington Christian in the district finals. He bounced back and struck out five Flyers, including all three batters who came up in the fourth inning. He was perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two singles sandwiching a three-run homer in the second inning.
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Satisky, a senior, enjoys getting an opportunity to affect the game in multiple ways but feels like the mound gives him a better chance to control opponents than the plate offers.
“It’s a game of failure when you’re at the plate,” Satisky said. “When I’m up on the mound I feel more dominant.”
Lafayette led from the get-go after retiring the first three Flyers. Kyle Browning hit a leadoff home run and the Generals got two more runs to go up 3-0 after one full frame.
Matt Pellegrino, a senior who didn’t start but pinch hit in the seven-hole spot in the fourth inning, drove in the run that put a run rule into effect.
“Our defensive specialist comes in and gets an RBI single,” Langston said. “That’s really good for him and really good for the team to see that everybody gets a shot at making a play.”
Franklin County’s head coach, Jeffrey Wilhoite, played for Langston when he was the head coach of the Flyers in the mid-’90s. The father of Franklin County second baseman TA Crumbaugh played for Langston, too.
“It’s really good cause he was one of my favorites when we were there,” Langston said of Wilhoite leading at Franklin County. “… I’m glad that he’s there cause he’s gonna really push those kids and teach them. He’s the perfect young man to be there teaching those guys.”
Lafayette will play the winner of Monday’s final first-round game, Madison Southern or Scott County. It did not meet either team in the regular season.