Woodford County didn't get a perfect game, but it did get a perfect ending to the 11th Region baseball semifinals as it beat Madison Central 3-2 in eight innings Tuesday night at Tates Creek.
The 15th-ranked Yellow jackets, 13-0 in one-run games this season, advance to the region finals for what is believed to be the first time in school history.
"This means a lot," Woodford County Coach Jeff Parrett said. "We'll face a really good Bryan Station team, but we look forward to the challenge."
The Jackets took a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning, with junior pitcher Logan Parrett (the coach's son) working on a perfect game.
But Madison Central's Cole Metcalfe grounded a one-out single between third and short to end the perfection and spark an Indians rally that tied the game.
Woodford County didn't lose its focus, though.
Sophomore Eli Boggess came on in relief in the eighth and got a strikeout to end a Madison Central threat.
Jackets junior Gage Beavers led off the bottom of the inning by smashing a double to left. He gave way to pinch-runner Thomas Hickman, who went to third on Rodney Gross's bunt single. After Madison Central got a strikeout, Boggess drew an intentional walk to load the bases.
With Chris Ares at the plate, Indians' pitcher Trey Gross threw a ball in the dirt that got by his catcher. Hickman darted off third, hesitated, then sprinted home with the winning run.
"I wasn't sure at first, but when I saw the ball got by (the catcher), I decided to go," Hickman said.
Woodford County jumped ahead 2-0 in the first inning when Gross and Boggess scored on a Madison Central throwing error.
Parrett kept mowing down the Indians. He retired the first 19 batters he faced, nine on strikeouts. He also got sparkling defense, notably catches by outfielders Ares and Zack Hacker.
Parrett heard whispers in the dugout about his perfect game, but he said he was "just trying to get a shutout, get a win, and move on."
He wasn't surprised the Jackets bounced back to win it after Madison Central's rally. "We don't give up," he said. "We keep fighting every inning till the end."
Jeff Parrett, a former major-league pitcher, was proud of his son's performance.
"To pitch that well against that great hitting team in a high-pressure situation ... I'll probably buy him an ice cream," Parrett said with a laugh.
Madison Central 000 000 20—2 2 1
Woodford Co. 200 000 01—3 6 0
Julian Speaks, Trey Gross (4) and Jimmy Wright. Logan Parrett, Eli Boggess (8) and Gage Beavers. 2B—Beavers (WC).
Records—Madison Central 29-10; Woodford Co. 29-6.