High School Sports

43rd District baseball: LCA tops LexCath in finals, 7-4

Four years ago, Lexington Christian beat Lexington Catholic for the district title and used that victory as a springboard to the state championship.

LCA Coach Keith Galloway would love to see history repeat itself.

"In particular, for these guys and what they mean to one another, the way they represent our school, and the heart they show," Galloway said after the No. 1 Eagles beat No. 7 Lexington Catholic 7-4 in the 43rd District finals Wednesday at Lafayette.

Junior center fielder Lucas Witt wouldn't mind giving LCA fans another title to brag about.

"That'd be nice," he said. "They've been talking about that '05 team for a long time.

"When we get done this year, we want them talking about our team. I think we have the talent to do it."

LCA and Lexington Catholic both advance to the 11th Region Tournament, which begins Monday at Applebee's Park.

The Knights are defending champs, and even though they go into the region as district runners-up, Coach Kevin Clary said he "likes our chances as well as anybody's."

LCA looks like the favorite, however. As it showed in the district, it has pitching, hitting and defense, not to mention three wins over Lexington Catholic this season.

After beating Lafayette 3-0 in the semifinals behind terrific pitching, the Eagles' bats perked up against the Knights. The top of the Eagles' order was an especially tough out.

Witt, a fleet-footed lead-off man, had three singles and scored each time. Evan Stephens slapped four hits, including a triple, had two runs and two RBI. Tyler Townsend had two hits, a walk and a run.

They kept the pressure on Lexington Catholic, and the Knights didn't react well. They had five infield errors.

"That surprised me a little," Clary said. "Our intensity wasn't as good as it was (in the semifinals). I take responsibility for that."

LCA junior left-hander Clay Hall limited Lexington Catholic to one run through five innings, and the Eagles were on top 6-1.

The Knights wasted a bases-loaded, no-outs situation in the fourth. LCA got a force-out at the plate, followed by a crisply turned double play.

"Clay came through with some big pitches; I was proud of him," Galloway said.

Lexington Catholic finally broke loose in the sixth when it rallied to cut the deficit to 6-4. Taylor Botkin and Casey Messner each had two-out, RBI hits.

That was it for Hall.

Chris McCamey replaced him, got the third out, then closed out the seventh 1-2-3.

Winning the district means LCA will be paired against a district runner-up in the first round of the region.

"This helps," Galloway said, "but at the same time, there's quality baseball all around."

■ 11th Region qualifiers: LCA, Franklin County, Henry Clay and Madison Central are district champs. Bryan Station, Lexington Catholic, Model and Woodford County are runners-up. The region draw will be held Saturday.

Lexington Catholic 010 003 0—4 8 5

Lexington Christian 012 301 x—7 14 3

R.J. Carroll, Frank Carter (4) and Michael Schornick. Clay Hall and Steven Hoagland. W—Hoagland. L—Carroll. 3B—Evan Stephens (LCA).

RecordsLex. Catholic 21-8-3; LCA 29-7