On Wednesday afternoon, Ben Fisher was just working on some things at his family’s home in Richmond. He hadn’t yet been notified that he was selected by the Florida Marlins in the Major League Draft. “My dad told me,” Fisher said.
Lexington Catholic senior Dave Mueller was 1-for-1 at the plate on Monday. His lone at-bat resulted in an RBI single that lifted the Knights over defending 11th Region champion Madison Central, 6-5, after eight innings at Lafayette.
At the beginning of the season, Madison Central was really not considered one of the top contenders in the always very competitive 11th Region. And with good reason. The Indians lost 10 seniors — which made up most of their lineup — from a squad that won 33 games, a regional championship and advanced to the KHSAA State Tournament.
Perhaps no baseball shadow looms larger than the one cast by Madison Central’s 1982 team, the one that went 40-0 and brought home the program’s only state title. This year’s team has heard a lot about that squad — assistant coach Tommy Gross played on it — as well as Central’s overall heyday in the ’80s and early ’90s.
The clock in center field flashed midnight just as Collins got the final out to knock off No. 5 Madison Central 5-4 in the first round of the Rawlings/KHSAA State Baseball Tournament at Whitaker Bank Ballpark on Monday night.
Madison Central won the 11th Region baseball title for the first time in 22 years by beating host Henry Clay 8-2 Saturday night, but it was a victory that began to take shape 366 days ago.
When Madison Central lost to Tates Creek 2-1 in the region finals last year at Western Hills, Coach Steve Roof saw right away his players' determination to grab the prize the next time around.
"On the bus ride home you could just see it," Roof said. "And you could see it every day in the fall, and all during winter workouts. "This was our goal, we had a great group of seniors who'd been there before, and we knew they were going to get this done."
Jeremy Lakes would prefer it if he and his Madison Central teammates could go about their baseball business this season without anybody paying them much notice. Sorry, Jeremy, but that ain't happenin'.