RICHMOND — Look up "momentum" in the Baseball Encyclopedia and you might just find a photo of the Tates Creek Commodores.
Coach Dom Fucci's team, No. 4 in the state, ran its winning streak to 18 in a row by mashing Madison Southern 13-2 in the 11th Region semifinals at Madison Central Tuesday night.
Tates Creek, which has totaled 36 runs and 37 hits in its last three playoff games, will play Scott County in Wednesday night's region finals.
The Commodores are seeking their first region title since 1990.
Tates Creek senior Nick Richmond said he and his teammates will take the same attitude into the finals as they've taken into every game this spring.
"We keep our heads up and always know if we get down we can come back. We're confident in ourselves, but not big-headed, and we trust one another," he said.
"The ol' Bull Durham 'one-game-a-time.' We focus on that. When we get to the field, we're ready."
Tates Creek showed its readiness against Madison Southern, an underdog that shocked Bryan Station in the region opener.
After scratching out a run in the first, the Commodores broke loose for nine runs in the second to bury Madison Southern's upset hopes.
Tates Creek had nine hits in the big inning, including two each by Richmond and Nathan Black.
Richmond finished the day with three hits, two RBI and two runs.
Blake Rose also had three hits, knocked in four runs and scored once. Rose said the Commodores' selfless approach to hitting is paying off.
"When we get to the plate we're not thinking about ourselves, we're thinking, 'What can I do to help the team?'"
Devin Hairston, JaVon Shelby and Jeffrey Chapuran contributed two hits apiece to the Commodores' cause.
Fucci was relieved to see his team break out to a big early lead. "You don't want the other ball club to stay in it, so we were fortunate to get those nine runs and put the game out of reach."
Aaron Mitchell, a senior left-hander, pitched the first two innings. Senior right-hander Austin Block worked the last three of the mercy-rule game.
Madison Southern avoided the shutout by scoring twice in the fifth. Lucas Reynolds doubled home Conner Buchanan and Donny Wyatt.
Tates Creek 13, Madison Southern 2
Tates Creek 190 03—13 15 1
Madison Southern 000 02— 2 3 1
Aaron Mitchell, Austin Block (3) and Nathan Black. Lucas Owens, Easten Shouse (2) and Lane Owen. 2B—JaVon Shelby (TC), Devin Hairston (TC), Lucas Reynolds (MS).
Records: Madison So. 8-29; Tates Creek 32-6