Two first-inning runs were all Region 10 champion Harrison County High School needed Saturday as the school held on for its fourth Kentucky High School Athletic Association championship with a 2-1 win over Region Six champion Butler High School. Harrison County freshman starting pitcher Jordan Martin earned the championship victory after allowing just one run in a complete-game performance. Martin struck out five and walked just three. Harrison County scored its two first-inning runs with two outs on a RBI single from junior right fielder Shane Fowler that scored junior left fielder Eric Sanders and a RBI single from junior designated hitter Samuel Logan Daily that scored senior shortstop Jared Martin. Sanders was named the state tournament MVP.
Butler senior starting pitcher Kyle McGrath almost equaled Martin’s pitching performance by allowing just two runs in his own complete-game performance. McGrath struck out eight batters and walked none. McGrath, an Eastern Kentucky University signee, ended the state tournament with 26 strikeouts in 15 innings. Butler senior shortstop Zach Lucas was the only player in the game to record multiple hits with a 2-4, one-run scored performance. (Box Score)
Player of the game: SP Jordan Martin — Martin, a freshman, had pitched just 27 innings before the state championship game but certainly didn’t show his inexperience in a complete game performance. Martin surrendered just one run on five hits in seven innings and struck out five while walking three. The performance ended Harrison County’s season on a 24-game winning streak.
We know what two teams will square off for tonight’s Kentucky High School Athletic Association state tournament finals after Friday’s semifinal action. Check out recaps and awards from those two games below:
In the first semifinal of the day Region Six champion Butler High School scored two runs in the top of the sixth innings to take the lead for good in its 3-2 win over Region 15 champion Pikeville High School.Butler took the lead in the sixth on a two-run double from senior outfielder Daniel Pardue, and senior pitcher Kyle McGrath held on with a scoreless seventh inning despite walking two batters to preserve the win. Senior reliever Austin Fuqua was credited with the win after holding Pikeville scoreless in one and one-third inning. Butler senior shortstop Zach Lucas was 2-3 with a run scored. Pikeville sophomore shortstop Gavin Miller was 3-4, and junior starting pitcher Layne Cecil took the loss despite allowing just three runs in a complete-game performance. (Box Score)
In the second semifinal matchup Region 10 champion Harrison County High School jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and held on for an 8-5 victory over Region Seven champion Louisville Male High School. Harrison County junior left fielder Eric Sanders was 3-4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Junior starting pitcher Samuel Logan Daily earned the win after surrendering five runs, four of which were earned, in a complete-game effort. Daily was also 2-3 with four RBI at the plate. Male senior catcher Ryan Messex was 4-4 with one RBI. Junior left fielder Jimmy Faul, sophomore third baseman Dalton Howell and sophomore designated hitter Tyler Adams each tallied two hits in four at-bats. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: OF Eric Sanders (Harrison Co.)
Stats: 3-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
Honorable Mention: Samuel Logan Daily (Harrison Co.), Ryan Messex (Male), Jimmy Faul (Male), Dalton Howell (Male), Tyler Adams (Male), Zach Lucas (Butler), Daniel Pardue (Butler), Gavin Miller (Pikeville)
Pitcher of the day: SP Layne Cecil (Pikeville)
Stats: 0-1, 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
Honorable Mention: Samuel Logan Daily (Harrison Co.), Cameron Clark (Butler), Austin Fuqua (Butler)
The two non-OVC teams swept the in-state matchups Friday in the season’s last mid-week games. Check out recaps and awards from the games below:
No. 11 University of Louisville rode five RBI from senior catcher Jeff Arnold to a 14-3 blowout of Eastern Kentucky University Tuesday. Arnold was 2-5 with two runs scored, and five Cardinals tallied at least two hits in the game. Senior third baseman Phil Wunderlich was 3-5 with a run scored and RBI. Junior center fielder Josh Richmond, who was playing in his fourth game since missing 29 games with a broken hand, launched his first home run of the season. EKU senior first baseman Anthony Ottrando launched his 17th home run of the season. UofL senior right-handed pitcher Tyler Mathis was credited with the win after pitching two perfect innings. (Box Score)
Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Joe Devine earned his first University of Kentucky career victory in a 6-3 win over Murray State University. Devine allowed one run on three hits in five and one-third innings and struck out four while walking one. UK junior second baseman Chris Bisson was 2-5 in the game, and six different Cats scored a run. Murray St. senior catcher Jason Laws and senior outfielder Daniel Hill each homered in the game. UK left-handed pitcher Logan Darnell earned his first save of the season but surrendered two runs in one and two-third innings. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: C Jeff Arnold (UofL)
Stats: 2-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 1 2B, 1 3B
Honorable Mention: Andrew Clark (UofL), Phil Wunderlich (UofL), Anthony Ottrando (EKU), Chris Bisson (UK), Jason Laws (Murray St.)
Pitcher of the day: RHP Joe Devine (UK)
Stats: 1-0, 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
Honorable Mention: Tyler Mathis (UofL), Eric Sanders (EKU), Marc Harmon (Murray St.)
An RBI single from Presbyterian third baseman Matthew Hill drove home left fielder Jess Harmon in the bottom of the tenth inning to defeat Eastern Kentucky University 8-7 in game one of a three-game series. Harmon had reached base in the tenth on a fielder error from EKU sophomore second baseman Dustin Dunlop. EKU sophomore shortstop Richie Rodriguez was 4-5 with a home run, and sophomore right-fielder Michael Garcia was 2-3 with a home run.
Sophomore right-handed reliever Eric Sanders took the loss after allowing three run in one and one-third innings. Presbyterian scored two in the ninth against Sanders to send the game to extras. Junior third baseman Jayson Langfels was 3-5 and senior first baseman Anthony Ottrando and junior center fielder Richie Allen each had two hits in the game. EKU fell to 2-3 on the season. (Box Score)
BluGrass Baseball POG: Richie Rodriguez — The senior shortstop was 4-5 with a home run, one RBI and one run scored in the game. Rodriguez added a walk for good measure and is batting .409 with a home run and five RBI in five games this season.