High School Baseball

LCA breezes to championship

Lexington Christian Academy's baseball program proved it could compete with the big boys when the Eagles won the KHSAA state championship in 2005.

LCA proved this weekend that it can stand tall among the little schools, too, by winning its first Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic state title at Applebee's Park.

The Eagles swept University Heights Academy, DeSales and Covington Holy Cross in a span of 18 hours as they dodged the raindrops.

"This was one of our guys' goals at the beginning of the year," Coach Keith Galloway said. "This is a extra-special group, a very close group, that responds well when they're challenged."

LCA beat UHA 5-1 in a late Saturday afternoon opener.

Because of a rainy forecast, the semifinals and finals, originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, were pushed up to Saturday night and Sunday morning.

LCA didn't seem to mind.

After blanking DeSales 5-0 in a game that didn't end until after 12:30 a.m., the Eagles returned to the ballpark eight hours later and routed Covington Holy Cross 11-1 to take the small-school championship.

LCA senior shortstop Tyler Townsend, the tournament MVP, said that while winning the All "A" was great, he was "more happy with the way we came and played as a team. I haven't seen us that focused before.

"We feel we're all so close, no matter what comes our way, we've got it all together."

LCA had all facets of its game together at Applebee's.

Starting pitchers Chris McCamy, Clay Hall and Austin Johnson gave up two runs in 18 innings.

"All three guys threw great," Galloway said. "And the defense played well behind them."

Dalton Henzman, Ben Hartley, Shane Crain, Steven Hoagland, Evan Stephens, Lucas Witt and Townsend wielded the biggest bats.

Galloway said Townsend earned MVP honors as much for his "vocal leadership, enthusiasm and keeping the guys loose."

Towsend shrugged off any personal glory.

"We've got so many leaders on this team," he said. "We've got guys who lead by getting people excited and guys who lead by example. When one guy's having a bad day, everybody else is there to pick him up."

Galloway thinks winning the All "A" will give LCA confidence when the post-season arrives in a couple weeks.

"With every group, you can play well, beat good teams and have a good record, but until you win like we did in the All 'A,' there's always an element of doubt," he said.

"I think we'll be able to play a little looser, a little more relaxed because they've proven to themselves they can seal the deal."