Andrew Barker's three-run homer, a rocket shot over the left-field fence, capped a nine-run fourth inning as No. 17 Lexington Christian hammered Western Hills 15-8 in the first round of the 11th Region baseball tournament Monday at Henry Clay.
Would Barker, who also had an RBI single, have preferred less of a slugfest?
"I just want to win, no matter what the score, as long as we're on top," he said.
Barker's wasn't the only bat that was stinging the ball. The Eagles had 17 hits spread among 11 players.
Hunter Wills had two hits and three RBI. Ty Stephens stroked two doubles and had two RBI. Frederick Rupp had three hits and an RBI. Robbie Stephens had a hit and drove in a pair of runs. Drew Schacht had two hits and two runs.
"We've had some good practices the last few days, and those good approaches carried over to the game," Coach Keith Galloway said.
"It was good to see a lot of different people contribute."
LCA led 5-4 before its nine-run fourth gave it a 14-4 cushion. But Galloway still didn't feel secure.
"You never feel comfortable in a first-round game, especially when you've seen an upset earlier in the day."
Galloway was referring to Sayre's win over No. 2 Lafayette in the region opener.
Barker's blast provided some relief, though. It was his third home run this season, and it was a no-doubter.
"I thought it had a chance," he said. "It was a good swing on a curveball that broke right across the middle of the plate."
Western Hills' offense was led by Cameron Barton and Luke Wheatley, who each had a two-run double.
Madison Central 8, Woodford County 0: Indians Coach Steve Roof couldn't have asked for a better way for his team to win their region opener.
No. 5 Madison Central erupted for five runs in the fifth inning on its way to an 8-0 victory over Woodford County.
After Indians' starter Jeremy Lakes went five strong innings, Roof was able to give four other pitchers some work and keep everybody fresh for the rest of the week.
"We've got a good pitching staff and I was trying to get them all in the game because you never know about the next two days," Roof said.
Lakes scattered three singles, struck out two and walked one. Kyle Kelsey, Trey Sexton, Alex Georgel and Zach Voll combined to work the last two innings.
Was Madison Central on high alert after watching No. 2 Lafayette fall to Sayre in the region opener?
"I definitely think so," Roof said.
"We knew we had to focus on today and we did," he said. "Now we need to focus on Sayre."
Madison Central will play Sayre in the semifinals.
The Indians took a 1-0 lead on Woodford County in the third inning when Jacob Frazier walked and eventually scored on an error.
Their bats came alive in the fifth, though. Frazier, Nick Kavanaugh and Cory Mullins hit doubles, with Mullins' shot driving in two runs.
Woodford County pitchers helped fuel Madison Central's rally by issuing four walks.
"We stayed with the plan and kept battling," Roof said. "Pitching and defense have been there for us all year, and we got timely hitting today, too."
Henry Clay 10, Model 1: After a 50-minute rain delay in the first inning, Henry Clay eventually got rolling and earned a Tuesday night semifinal showdown with LCA.
The Blue Devils were tied 1-1 with Model before getting five runs in the fourth.
David McAnelly and Cameron Lord both tripled to spark the rally. McAnelly scored on Sam Jiunta's ground-out, and Lord came home on a wild pitch.
Blake Urbanek doubled home Aaron McGeorge to make it 4-1. Trevor Hammonds' two-out double drove in two more runs.
Henry Clay had its third triple of the night — this one by Aaron McGeorge — in the fifth when it stretched its lead to 8-1.
Brandon Lord had the Devils' fourth triple in the sixth and drove in a run.
Four Henry Clay pitchers — Cole Terrell, Sam Jiunta, Taylor Dunbar and Clayton Richards — combined to limit Model to just one hit. Casey Brandenburg had a bunt single in the third and wound up scoring on a groundout for the Patriots.
Lex. Christian 15, Western Hills 8
Lexington Christian 410 901 0—15 17 2
Western Hills 310 220 0—8 8 3
Aaron Miley, Connor Milslagle (5), Austin Dick (5), Ty Stephens (7) and Hunter Wills. Connor Graves, Logan Etherington (2), Parker Jackson (4) and Jesse Howard. 2B—Frederick Rupp (LCA), Luke Wheatley (WH), Ty Stephens, 2 (LCA), Cameron Barton (WH). HR—Andrew Barker (LCA).
Records: LCA 25-11; Western Hills 14-19
Madison Central 8, Woodford Co. 0
Woodford County 000 000 0—0 3 2
Madison Central 001 052 x—8 7 3
Blake Hacker, Matthew Eldridge (5), Nate Beavers (6) and Hunter Hilbert. Jeremy Lakes, Kyle Kelsey (6), Trey Sexton (6), Alex Georgel (7), Zach Voll (7) and Cory Mullins, Logan Black (7). 2B—Mullins (MC), Jacob Frazier (MC), Nick Kavanaugh (MC), Josh Wright (MC). Austin Alexander (MC).
Records: Woodford Co. 9-21; Madison Central 31-6.
Henry Clay 10, Model 1
Model 001 000 0—1 1 4
Henry Clay 100 522 x—10 12 1
Brandon Turner, Conner Taylor (4), Seth Marks (5) and Colton Cobb. Cole Terrell, Sam Jiunta (4), Taylor Dunbar (6), Clayton Richards (7) and Trevor Hammonds, Brandon Lord (6). 2B—Sam Jiunta (HC), Blake Urbanek, 2 (HC), Cameron Lord (HC). 3B—David McAnelly (HC), Aaron McGeorge (HC), Cameron Lord (HC), Brandon Lord (HC).
Records: Model 15-16; Henry Clay 16-20.