Jun 8, 2012 10:30 AM
Nine innings of stellar work by Newport Central Catholic pitcher Josh Cain vanished in the blink of an eye, along with the Thoroughbreds state title hopes.
Through eight innings, Cain pitched a gem, giving up just a single hit and no runs. The game went into the bottom of the ninth still knotted up in a scoreless tie.
A double off the bat of Henderson County's Kaleb Duckworth signaled the beginning of the end. On the next at-bat, Avery Pitt reached first on an error and Duckworth scampered to third. Moments later, Pitt stole second uncontested. With Pitt on second base, Cain went into his windup and then inexplicably turned and fired the ball to unoccupied first base. Duckworth dashed home, scoring the winning run for the Colonels. In fact, the errant throw to first counted as a balk.
Henderson County players launched into a celebration as Newport Central Catholic players, coaches and fans tried to comfort an inconsolable Cain.
Sam Higgs pitched the final two innings for Henderson County and was credited with the win. Sophomore Marty Coursey started on the mound. the two Colonel hurlers held the Thoroughbreds to four hits.
Henderson County will face Meade County in the semifinal game. The Green Wave topped Ashland Blazer 4-2.
Meade County only managed two hits off Tomcat pitchers Logan Salow and Steve Adkins, but still found a way to manufacture runs, capitalizing on walks, errant throws and errors.
Up 1-0, the Green Wave scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth without a hit. A pair of walks and an error loaded the bases, setting things up for Garrett Ledford, who drew a walk to force in a run. Adkins came into the game and hit the first batter he faced. A wild pitch allowed the third run to cross the plate.
Ledford got the win for Meade County.
Meade County and Henderson County will square off at 8:30 p.m., after the Woodford County - Bishop Brossart matchup.