RICHMOND — What looked like perfect magic turned into agonizing heartbreak for defending state baseball champ Woodford County in the 11th Region semifinals at Madison Central Tuesday night.
Scott County, meanwhile, celebrated a stunning 3-2 comeback victory and a shot at Tates Creek in the region finals Wednesday night.
Woodford County's Logan Parrett, who flirted with a perfect game in last year's region semifinals against Madison Central, was at it again against Scott County.
The senior right-hander retired the first 17 batters he faced, including 13 by strikeouts. Woodford County led 2-0 and Parrett had a 1-and-1 count on Brad Seahorn in the top of the sixth when it all turned sour for the Yellow Jackets.
Parrett felt a twinge in his right forearm. Gage Beavers, his catcher, visited the mound for a brief conference. Parrett threw another pitch, then walked a few feet off the mound in obvious discomfort. Coach Jeff Parrett, his dad, came out on the field with the trainer. A few minutes later, Parrett headed for the dugout, his pursuit of perfection over.
J.T. O'Reel came on in relief and got the final out on one pitch to preserve the perfect game and Woodford County's 2-0 lead.
But Scott County sensed an opportunity.
"It was terrible what (Parrett) went through because he was pitching great," said Cardinals pitcher Lukas Mudd. "But when he went out, we thought, 'This is our chance, our opening.' "
Scott County rallied for three runs off O'Reel in the seventh. Austin Downey drew a leadoff walk. After Bo Saunders hit a line-shot out to left, the Cards strung together four singles in a row by Scott Daniel, Chase Martin, Ryon Bean and Matt Gregory to take the lead.
"We never give up; we have heart," said Gregory, whose hit drove in the go-ahead run.
Gregory said he thought the Cards would have eventually gotten to Parrett.
Scott County Coach Scott Willard wasn't so sure.
"We probably wouldn't have scored off Parrett," Willard said. "I feel so bad for him. He was so dominant.
"But give our guys credit for staying in the game and getting those hits when we needed them."
Mudd was terrific on the mound for the Cards. The junior righty went the distance, gave up four hits, struck out three and walked two.
"It was pure adrenaline," he said. "The best game I've pitched all year."
Willard called it a "big win for our program, a feather in our cap for beating the defending state champs."
Woodford County got its 2-0 lead on Clinton Hollon's sacrifice fly that scored Eli Boggess in the fourth, and Parrett's double that chased home Curtis Ham in the fifth.
Jeff Parrett said his son's injury was "something in his forearm, the best I can tell. I don't think it's anything serious."
As for the way the game turned completely around in the last couple of innings, Parrett said,
"That's baseball. There's a lot of adversity and a lot of things in life you have to overcome. We're grateful and thankful we were together, and that we were a team."
Scott County 000 000 3—3 4 1
Woodford County 000 110 2—2 4 0
Lukas Mudd and Alden Gruchow. Logan Parrett and Gage Beavers. 2B—Parrett (WC).
Records: Scott Co. 24-13-1; Woodford Co. 26-10
Finals at Madison Central
7 p.m.: Tates Creek vs. Scott County
Online: Watch iHigh.com's live broadcast on Kentucky.com