By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
The Indians and Patriots each had the same number of hits Monday during a first-round 44th District Tournament showdown at Berea College.
Madison Central, however, was able to convert those base runners into runs, while Model wasn’t.
Jimmy Wright had a pair of triples, scored twice and drove in two runs as the Indians advanced to the championship game with a 9-1 win. The Indians scored three runs in each of the first two innings and then added a run in the third, fourth and fifth.
Central will face Madison Southern in the title game at 7 p.m. today in Berea.
The Eagles advanced to the title game with a 10-9 win Monday night over Berea Community.
Both Central and Southern will advance to next week’s 11th Region Tournament, which is being played at Don Richardson Field in Richmond.
“I thought the guys were focused,” Central coach Steve Roof said. “I could tell even in batting practice. They knew it was an important game and they took care of business.”
The Patriots didn’t go down with a fight, though.
Model had runners on base in every inning but the fifth and finished with eight hits. Ray White, Joseph Hampton and Tuner Curtis each had two hits. The Patriots stranded five runners on base and Central turned rally-killing double plays in the third, fourth and seventh.
Model’s only run came in the fourth. Curtis singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, then scored on a single by Matt Pennington.
Kyle Kelsey started and got the win for Central, going 5 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits while striking out six and walking two.
“He’s a freshman who was put in the big spot,” Roof said. “I think he did a good job.”
Jared Adams went the distance for Model, allowing eight hits, five walks, with four strikeouts and five hit batters.
Wright led the offensive attack for Central. The senior catcher walked and scored in the first inning, added a sac fly in the second, then had an RBI triple in the third and another triple and scored a run in the fifth.
“Jimmy has been the man all year,” Roof said.
In the first, Ben Fisher had a two-run single and Jonah Kelsey had an RBI double.
Chris Wells had a double and scored in the second and later in the inning, Fisher added an RBI double.
Ben Morin reached base three times — double, walk, hit by pitch — Fisher was on three times, Jake Caldwell walked and scored, Joseph Holbrook had a single and Wells scored twice.
“I thought all our hitters had a good approach at the plate,” Roof said.
Southern 10, Berea 9
Madison Southern advanced to the 44th District championship game for the first time since 2007 with a thrilling 10-9 win over Berea Community Monday night at Berea College.
Lucas Owens was hit by a pitch leading off the seventh inning and came around to score on an error.
Southern scored in every inning except the sixth, but Berea battled back several times in a game that featured a couple of controversial calls and wild momentum swings.
Berea scored three runs in the first, but Southern tied the score in the bottom of the inning and then took a 4-3 lead in the second.
The Eagles’ lead expanded to 8-4 in the fourth when they scored twice.
Berea took the lead in the fifth inning with five runs. Southern tied it up in the bottom of the inning on a Owens reached on an infield single and later scored.
Griffen Norris started for Southern and worked into the fifth before Easton Shouse came on in relief.
Gabe Long started for Berea and pitched six innings. Sean Long came on to pitch in the seventh.
Devin Strong, Hunter Wilson and Sean Long scored twice for Berea.
Andrew Evans scored three times for Southern, while Lucas Reynolds and Lucas Owens scored twice.
Southern and Central played twice during the regular season. The Indians won both games, 13-2 and 13-0.