Lucas Myers had a little extra motivation when he took the mound against Scott County on Monday afternoon at Don Richardson Field. He wanted to erase some bad memories. "I gave up four runs against them last year," Myers said. "I was looking for a little bit of revenge." In last year's 11th Region Tournament title game, the Cardinals put together a big late rally, which included a two-run homer off of Myers. The Indians hung for an 8-6 win. A year later, Myers faced the Cardinals again in another pressure-packed situation.
The No. 6 Indians advance to the 11th Region Tournament semifinals. They will face No. 2 Tates Creek (30-7) at 6 p.m. today at Scott County High School. "It was a team effort," Roof said. "All the pitchers on both sides were really good both days." The showdown between the long-time rivals began on Sunday afternoon in Richmond. The game, however, was suspended in the top of the fourth inning because of rain. Left-hander Bryce Travis started for Central and went 3 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and two walks with four strikeouts. The junior wasn't eligible to come back and pitch on Monday.
"It's kind of ironic that it rains again this year," Myers said with a laugh. "We are used to it."
Myers earned a complete-game shutout win over Scott County on May 1 in Georgetown, in which he allowed only five hits. On Monday, he was certainly ready to face the Cardinals again.
"They told me yesterday that I was going to be up and they wanted me to close out the game," Myers said. "That was the plan." That plan worked out almost perfectly.
Myers gave up a single to the first batter he faced, then picked off a runner to end the fourth inning. The Cardinals got a single from Trent Fox and a walk by Trace Willhoite in the fifth.
A line-drive double play ended that threat. Myers retired five-straight batters before a single by Fox with two outs in the seventh. A groundout to first base ended the game. Central had only six hits, but was able to find a way to push across one run. Travis led-off the fifth with a single to right field. Senior Tyler Storie moved the runner to second with a bunt.
"He's unselfish and a total team player," Roof said of Storie. "He looked at me and said, 'I'm going to get the bunt down.'" A groundout by Carter Ruffner allowed Travis to move to third.
That set the stage for Simmons. The senior hit a ball that the shortstop wasn't able to come up in time. "I was even looking," Simmons said of the play. "I was just running as fast as I could." Simmons and Brandon Anderson were both 2-for-3 for Central. Colton Perkins was 1-for-3.
Travis was 1-for-4 and scored a run.
"We work on bunting every day," Simmons said. "That showed in this game. A couple of bunts, put it in play and let them make mistakes."
The win over No. 18 Scott County sets up another high-profile showdown for the Indians.
Central beat Tates Creek, 2-1, on April 30 at Don Richardson Field.
The Indians had eight hits off Konner Lewis, a junior who has verbally committed to Wichita State.
The right-hander will likely start against Central again.
"It will be a great battle," Roof said.
The Commodores moved into the 11th Region semifinals with a 3-2 win over Western Hills on Sunday in Lexington.