FRANKFORT — Madison Central used small ball and long ball to knock off Lexington Catholic 8-2 in a matchup of top-25 teams Monday in the 11th Region baseball tournament at Western Hills.
No. 23 Madison Central fell behind 2-0 early, then manufactured four runs, including one on a perfect two-strike squeeze bunt, to take a 4-2 lead. The Indians then found an unexpected power stroke in the sixth inning. Joe Holbrook hammered a solo homer, and Seth Richardson added a three-run shot to bury No. 10 Lexington Catholic.
Madison Central relied on small ball to come from behind. Lexington Catholic starter Willie Poe gave the Indians a run in the second by walking four batters in a row. Madison Central took the lead with three runs in the fifth. Ben Morin led off with a single, Richardson sacrificed him to second and Hunter Kabalen's infield hit moved him to third. Pinch hitter Hunter Hotchkiss then executed a two-strike squeeze bunt to bring Morin home with the tying run. The Indians kept the inning alive, and two more runs scored on Jonah Kelsey's sacrifice fly and a passed ball. The Indians, who had only two home runs this season coming into the region, added insurance in the sixth as Holbrook and Richardson homered to left. "We're not a long-ball team. We're small ball with speed," Roof said. "But today we did hit two (homers), and both were by sophomores." Richardson said Holbrook's shot was "a no-doubter. Mine was like a fly ball that I got under and it kept carrying over the fence." Richardson said Madison Central gained "a lot of confidence" when it rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat Lexington Catholic 8-7 during the regular season. Knights Coach Taylor Brooks said he didn't think his team played poorly. "(Lakes) kept us off balance a little bit. We had too many flyouts. We got under a lot of baseballs. But we hit some balls really hard that they made nice plays on. "They're a good team and well-coached. "I'm proud of my seniors and this team as a whole. We'll come back ready to go next year."
Madison Central 8, Lex. Catholic 2
Lexington Catholic 200 000 0—2 5 0
Madison Central 010 034 x—8 8 1
Willie Poe, Griffin Neuer (5), Anthony Ethington (6) and Riley Jackson. Jeremy Lakes and Cory Mullins. 2B—Jackson (LC), Jonah Kelsey (MC). HR—Joe Holbrook (MC), Seth Richardson (MC).
Records: Lexington Catholic 23-13; Madison Central 28-8