High School Sports

Lafayette shuts down higher-ranked Tates Creek

After a four-game losing streak and 10 days between wins, Lafayette finally left the ballpark smiling. The third-seeded Generals defeated second-seeded Tates Creek 4-0 in the 43rd District semifinals to secure their third trip to the 11th Region Tournament in the last four seasons.

Jackson Boggs gave the Gens plenty of reason to grin. He pitched a complete game shutout, striking out five and walking just one batter. Three of his strikeouts came against Tates Creek star Jaren Shelby, a University of Kentucky commit who batted lead off and was named Kentucky’s Gatorade Player of the Year earlier in the day.

Boggs and Shelby have played summer ball together in the past, so the former was pretty familiar with how to get ahead of the latter.

“He hits fastballs good but if you throw that curve ball sometimes he gets off balance and swings under,” said Boggs, who’s committed to play center field at Wabash Valley in Mount Carmel, Ill.

Lafayette got on the board in the top of the fifth as Boggs helped his own cause with a two-out single to left field. The Generals padded their advantage in the top of the seventh, thanks to an RBI single from Morgan Harris and two-run double by Jacob Abbott.

Tates Creek had solid chances to strike in the fourth and sixth innings. Runners advanced to second and third via sac bunts in both frames, but the Commodores failed to get any runs home. Generals Coach Chris Langston was concerned with how his team would react to those type of situations entering Tuesday.

“Those would have been situations where we haven’t made plays,” Langston said. “ … That’s something we hadn’t done the last couple of weeks.”

The Commodores were shut out of the 11th Region tournament for the second time in as many seasons. However, the 2016 season marked a return to form for a program steeped in tradition. Tates Creek finished the year 26-7 and ranked in the top five in Prep Baseball Report’s latest rankings.

Creek’s Larry Poynter, in his first season coaching his alma mater, thought his players put themselves in good spots but couldn’t come up with hits when they mattered most. He felt Boggs had a lot to do with that.

“He made pitches when he had to,” Poynter said. “I always tell our guys ‘Put yourself in position to win the game.’ Tonight was just one of those nights. We play that same game tomorrow night I feel like we’ll get those hits.”

Lafayette hosts the 11th Region tournament next week. It’s the first time the Generals have hosted and reached the tournament since 1998.

“The one goal they had all year was to be playing in the region at home next week,” Langston said. “And they went out and got it.”

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

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Tates Creek

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Boggs and Adams; Hall, Castle and Burgess. W—Boggs. L—Hall. Records: Lafayette 20-15, Tates Creek 26-7.

Wednesday

43rd District baseball finals at Lexington Christian

6 p.m.: Lafayette vs. Lexington Catholic

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