Luke Wilson threw a complete game, Boo Thompson delivered two insurance RBI deep in the evening and the Blue Devils knocked out 11th Region tournament host Lafayette with a 4-1 victory in the first round Monday night.
Wilson struck out eight batters and gave up only three hits. He carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the fourth inning, where opposing pitcher Jackson Boggs knocked a leadoff home run over the left-field fence to cut Henry Clay’s lead to 2-1.
Thompson had struck out twice and flown out before putting a two-out, two-run double in the top of the seventh to extend the Blue Devils’ lead late. His approach?
“Just try not to do too much and put the ball in play,” Thompson said.
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Henry Clay’s defense came up with timely defensive plays throughout the game, highlighted by a tough gather and throw to first base by shortstop David McAnelly to end a Lafayette threat in the bottom of the sixth.
“Out of hitting, pitching and defense, (defense) has definitely been our number one,” Wilson said.
Blue Devils Coach Jordan Tarrence said getting a full seven innings out of Wilson wasn’t about saving arms in the bullpen as much as it was trusting the guy who brought them to that point. His ability to get ahead in counts allows him to go the distance.
“He’s been our guy all year,” Tarrence said. “We had more faith in him at the end of this game than bringing in somebody fresh. That’s just the confidence that we have in him. He’s thrown a complete game almost every game he’s started this year.”
Wilson threw 92 pitches. Sixty were strikes.
“That’s more balls than he should have thrown,” Tarrence said with a laugh. “ … It’s awesome to know coming into tomorrow that I’ve got everybody I could possibly need. This region’s too tough to look ahead to the next game; you have to win one game at a time, and if it takes everybody we got, then we’ll use everybody we got.”
Boggs struck out six batters in a complete game for Lafayette. Henry Clay will meet Western Hills in the second semifinal Tuesday night.
▪ Tyler Anglin’s two-run homer was the difference-maker for Western Hills in its 2-1 win over Madison Southern late Monday night. The Wolverines improved their school-best record to 26-9.
Anglin’s shot erased a 1-0 MadSouth lead in the fifth inning. The Eagles fell to 17-16.
Scott County ousts Franklin County
The only remaining drama by the final inning of Scott County’s 8-3 win over Franklin County in the second first round game was whether Brian Thorn would finish off a no-hit bid against the Flyers.
Thorn gave up a hit and three runs in the top of the seventh, leading Ryan Hannabach to enter in relief and put an end to any hopes of a Franklin County comeback for the ages.
Hannabach and Kendall Covington each had two RBI for the Cardinals. Cooper Robb and Brice Fryman both went 2-for-2 with a walk each. Thorn struck out six batters.
Cam Hill, a junior committed to UK, had an RBI single that effectively turned into a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth. His single lined into the pitcher’s chest and drove in a run from third. From there, a series of errors cleared the bases and turned a 5-0 Cardinals lead into an 8-0 edge.
Scott County will play No. 8 Lexington Catholic in Tuesday’s first semifinal. The programs were originally scheduled to meet in the regular season, but LexCath had to cancel to make up a 43rd District game.
Coach Scott Willard called the Knights, ranked eighth in the state and the top remaining team in the field, “a complete team” that’ll give his young squad a massive test.
“It’ll take a Herculean effort on our part to beat ’em,” Willard said.
Redmon, Dotson (5) and Wood; Thorn, Hannabach (7) and Kopp. W—Thorn. L—Redmon. HR—Hannabach.
Records—Scott Co. 25-10, Franklin Co. 14-17.
Wilson and Pierce; Boggs and Adams. W—Wilson. L—Boggs. 2B—HC: Dacci, Dunn, Thompson; L: Boggs. HR—L: Boggs.
Records—Henry Clay 23-14, Lafayette 21-16.
11th Region tournament
Tuesday’s semifinals: Lexington Catholic vs. Scott County, 6 p.m.; Henry Clay vs. Madison Southern-Western Hills winner, 8 p.m.
Wednesday’s finals: 6 p.m.