Josh Moore

Henry Clay rallies past Sayre with three-run seventh inning

Henry Clay celebrates comeback victory

Blue Devils score three in seventh to beat Sayre in district baseball opener
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Blue Devils score three in seventh to beat Sayre in district baseball opener

A stunning seventh-inning rally gave Henry Clay a 4-3 win over Sayre in the 42nd District semfinals on Monday night. The Blue Devils set up a date with tournament host Scott County in Tuesday’s finals after trailing the entire game versus Sayre.

No matter what happened over the course of the game, Coach Jordan Tarrence said, the Blue Devils came in ready to fight until the final pitch was thrown. He noted that the recent Fayette County Invitational, during which his team rallied from behind to win three consecutive contests over ranked foes, helped give Henry Clay confidence it needed to win games in the manner it did on Monday.

“That’s the biggest thing, is, they have to believe they’re gonna win,” Tarrence said. “And I honestly think that the entire time they thought they were going to find a way to win. It wasn’t pretty and we did a lot of things wrong, but they believed they were going to win.”

Henry Clay entered the final frame down 2-1. Ben Rider hit a single to start the inning. David McAnelly reached on an error after Michael Flora, who was in his second inning of relief for Sayre starter James Dupree, failed to make a diving catch near the first-base line. Flora, a senior who earlier this month signed with Centre, separated his shoulder on the play and was replaced with Aidan Elias.

“It just hurts,” Clary said of Flora’s injury. “He dove for that ball trying to make a great play and just came up a bit short there. His effort was unbelievable. He had a great career.”

Jared Pierce advanced Rider and McAnelly with a sac bunt. Henry Molloy got to first on a fielder’s choice and drove in Rider after the throw to home failed to get there in time. A wild pitch during the next Henry Clay at-bat got McAnelly home and gave the Blue Devil their first lead at 3-2. A throw to third passed into the outfield, allowing Molloy to reach home safely for a 4-2 lead.

Josh Morgan hit an RBI triple for Sayre in the bottom of the inning but designated hitter Christian Moore struck out to end the game.

Clary told his team that one game doesn’t define their season. He gave ample credit to the Blue Devils for not giving up when things looked dire for them.

“Our program’s come a long way in two years and I’m very, very excited about the future,” Clary said. “We didn’t spend a whole lot of time rehashing that game at the end. We put ourselves in a good position to win the game.”

A fly out by Sam Stayton in the bottom of the fourth inning gave Sayre a 1-0 lead. Elias led off the fifth inning with a single, the Spartans’ first hit of the game. He eventually scored on a failed fielder’s choice to make it 2-0 Sayre.

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

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Sayre

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May, Wilson (5) and Pierce; Dupree, Flora (6), Elias (7) and Hojnacki. W—Wilson. L—Elias. 2B—Jasko (S). 3B—Morgan (S). Records: Henry Clay 22-13, Sayre 21-14.

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