By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
A nine-run first inning by Lexington Christian Academy proved too much for Model (4-10) to overcome Friday in a 16-3 loss in the semifinals of the 11th Region All “A” Classic.
The Eagles took advantage of four walks and a hit batter to score five unearned runs off Patriots’ starter Jesse Middleton in the first, then added another run in the second inning to take a commanding lead that they never relinquished.
Model had chances to put runs on the board in the first and third innings but could not get the job done.
In the second, Middleton drilled a one-out double to center field and moved to third on a wild pitch. After A.J. Hammons reached on a walk, Middleton was picked off third on a failed bunt attempt and Cody Jones flied out to center to end the threat.
In the third, the Patriots got two-out singles by Ray White and Middleton and Hammons reached on an error to load the bases. But, LCA pitcher David Malicote got Jones on another long fly ball to center field.
“It’s been the story all year. Other teams have capitalized on our errors. If we can eliminate our errors on the basepaths and our mental errors then we will give ourselves a chance to be in every game,” Model coach Shannon Davis said.
The Patriots finally got on the board in the fourth inning.
Turner Curtis and Jared Adams reached base on back-to-back one-out singles. One out later, Seth Marks drew a walk to once again load the bases.
Curtis scored on a wild pitch to make it 10-1, then White came through with an infield single to bring Adams home with the Patriots second run of the game.
Middleton made it 10-3 with an RBI single to center, scoring Marks.
LCA quickly got one run back in the fifth inning off Marks, who replaced Middleton on the mound for Model, to push the lead to 11-3.
The Eagles added five more in the sixth to take the 16-3 win.
Middleton went four innings for Model, giving up eight hits and nine runs. He walked five batters, struck out two and hit a batter.
Marks pitched two innings in relief, giving up six hits and six runs, walking one and hit one batter.
Middleton led the way at the plate for the Patriots with two doubles and a single and one RBI.
White had two singles and an RBI, while Curtis and Adams added one single each.
Davis said there is still a lot of baseball left to be played in the season and he still believes his team can get it together and pick up some wins.
“With the type of team we are, we have to be aggressive from the start of games and we have to jump on teams early to give ourselves a chance,” Davis said. “Then, even if a mistake happens now and then we will be able to keep ourselves in ballgames. If we can eliminate some of our mistakes and keep games in our reach, we can capitalize on our chances and good things will happen. The season is still young and we are getting better.”
Model is off until Friday, April 19 when they take on Frankfort in Richmond.