Tates Creek hasn't been the heaviest of hitters this baseball season, but the Commodores had their bats in a groove against district rival Lexington Christian on Tuesday night.
"We came out stroking the ball pretty well," Coach Dom Fucci said after watching his team collect a season-high 16 hits in a 7-3 victory.
Dorian Hairston, who went 3-for-4 and scored twice, was a little surprised by the host Commodores' hit parade.
"I don't know where this came from," the senior center fielder said. "Earlier in the year our pitchers were getting the job done, but we were losing a lot of games 3-2 or 3-1 because we weren't hitting.
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"But our bats woke up tonight."
Austin Younce had three hits and drove in two runs. Javon Shelby had two hits and three RBI. Blake Rose, Devin Hairston and Nick Richmond also had two hits apiece as No. 16 Tates Creek overcame an early 2-0 deficit to beat No. 19 LCA for the second time this season.
"Everybody did a nice job putting the ball in play," said Fucci, who didn't mind a bit that the Commodores' first 13 hits were singles.
"I'll take whatever we can get. It's like the dinner table. I'm not going to turn anything away."
Tates Creek pitcher Aaron Mitchell had control problems early. The junior left-hander walked five batters in the first two innings, and surrendered a two-run single to Dallas Murphy.
The Commodores' defense helped him out with a bases-loaded double play to end the second.
Mitchell gave up a double to Cody Kalinowski and RBI single to Aaron Johnson in the fifth that trimmed Tates Creek's lead to 4-3. But the Commodores answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by Shelby's two-run double.
"It's good to know your team will get those runs back for you, and it's nice to have a good defense behind you like we do," Mitchell said.
Mitchell went five innings, giving up four hits, three runs and six walks, and he struck out four. Richmond didn't give up a hit and had two strikeouts in two innings of relief.
Ryan Bale took the loss. He gave up four runs and 10 singles in three innings.
LCA has been playing well lately, including wins over No. 2 Lexington Catholic and No. 9 Danville. It has also earned a spot in the All "A" Classic at Whitaker Bank Ballpark on Kentucky Derby weekend.
But Coach Keith Galloway is still looking for more even play from his Eagles.
"I feel we're not close to being the team we can be," he said. "We have a pretty solid pitching rotation. If we ever decide to hit and field consistently, we can be pretty good."
Tates Creek, meanwhile, has gotten good pitching and good defense this season, so if the Commodores get their bats going ...
"We'll be a team to look out for," Mitchell said.
Lexington Christian 200 010 0—3 4 1
Tates Creek 121 030 x—7 16 1
Ryan Bale, Drew Schacht (4), David Malicote (1) and Chad Hall. Aaron Mitchell, Nick Richmond (6) and Nathan Black. W—Mitchell. L—Bale. 2B—Cody Kalinowski (LCA), Devin Hairston (TC), Javon Shelby (TC), Blake Rose (TC).
Records—LCA 11-9; Tates Creek 9-7