High School Baseball

Lexington Catholic, Tates Creek to meet in 11th Region baseball finals

Tates Creek's Dorian Hairston (51) celebrated scoring with teammate Travis Murray in the Commodores' seven-run second inning.
Tates Creek's Dorian Hairston (51) celebrated scoring with teammate Travis Murray in the Commodores' seven-run second inning.

Less than a week ago Tates Creek knocked off No. 1 Lexington Catholic 4-2 in the 43rd District high school baseball finals.

The No. 8 Commodores will try to beat Lexington Catholic again Wednesday night, this time with the 11th Region title and a spot in the state tournament on the line.

The city rivals advanced to the region finals with decisive semifinal victories Tuesday night. Tates Creek hammered Western Hills 15-5, and Lexington Catholic beat No. 3 Madison Central 8-3 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

The region championship will be played at Bryan Station Wednesday night at 7:30.

Tates Creek hasn't won the region since 1990. Lexington Catholic has won five region titles since 1999.

Lexington Catholic 8, Madison Central 3: The Knights put Madison Central in a big hole early by scoring seven runs in their first at-bat.

Evan Fraliex had a two-run single to highlight the inning. Tyler Jackson, Troy Miller, Robert Waller and Ryan Madaleno also hit singles.

"It was a huge advantage, getting that early lead," said Fraliex, who was 3-for-3 at the plate.

"We weren't trying to take the ball out of the ballpark. We just made solid contact and got it through the holes."

Knights Coach Taylor Brooks said jumping to a big early lead "sucks the life out of the other team. We wanted to jump on them early, and we did."

Tyler Arthur was Lexington Catholic's man on the mound. Coming back from mononucleosis, he summoned the strength to pitch a complete game. He scattered seven hits, struck out nine and walked three.

"Tyler absolutely battled out there," Brooks said. "He minimized the damage and stayed away from the big inning. He gave us what we needed."

Madison Central wasn't itself. It made six errors, four of them coming in the nightmarish first inning.

The Indians, who were led by Jimmy Wright's two hits, had a chance to get back in the game in the fourth. They got a run to close the gap to 8-3 and loaded the bases with two outs. But Arthur got a strikeout to end the threat.

Tates Creek 15, Western Hills 5: The Commodores, who have been a hitting machine all season (.344 batting average, 44 home runs), showed off their slugging against Western Hills. They hammered 13 hits, including two homers and six doubles.

Austin Broome's three-run homer in the second began Tuesday's onslaught. Andrew Bryant's solo shot in the third was part of his three-RBI performance that helped the Commodores build a 13-0 lead.

Travis Murray had four hits, including two doubles. Freshman Devin Hairston had a three-run double.

"I think good hitting is contagious, and everybody brought it tonight," said Murray, who leads the team with a .452 average

It's not as if Tates Creek is picky about pitchers, either.

"If they throw us a strike, we'll hit it," Bryant said.

Western Hills, which beat the Commodores 7-6 in last year's region tournament, felt the wrath of revenge when Tates Creek sent 12 batters to the plate in the seven-run second.

Murray had two hits in the inning, which was helped along by an error, two hit batters and a walk.

Western Hills did not succumb to the mercy rule without a fight. Sparked by Logan Coffey's lead-off homer in the fourth, it rallied for five runs and had a chance to extend the game beyond the fifth inning before Tates Creek reliever Logan Howard ended it.

Tates Creek 071 52—15 12 4

Western Hills 000 23— 5 3 2

Devin Jackson, Nick Richmond (3), Logan Howard (5) and Austin Broome. Marcus Howard, Michael Bennett (4) and Eric Lewis. 2B—Kyle Polley (TC), Devin Hairston (TC), Travis Murray (TC), Andrew Bryant, 2 (TC), Reid VanBussum (TC). HR—Bryant (TC), Austin Broome (TC), Logan Coffey (WH).

Records Tates Creek 28-9; Western Hills 16-16

Madison Central 101 100 0—3 7 6

Lexington Catholic 701 000 x—8 8 0

Logan Smith, Cole Metcalfe (1), Nicky Edwards (3), Alex Dapkus (6) and Jimmy Wright. Tyler Arthur and Tyler Jackson. 2B—Wright (MC), Trey Gross (MC). 3B—Caleb Epperson (MC), Zach Haynes (LC).

RecordsMadison Central 30-5; LexCath 29-6

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader