May 29th, 2019

Trinity clinches the 7th Region Defeating St. X

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Ed Peak

Staff Writer


Trinity clinches the 7th Region Defeating St. X
Trinity defeats St.X to win region/ photo by Ed Peak

It was a little over three weeks ago when Trinity lost a regular season game to rival St. Xavier. Shamrocks coach Rock Arnold noticed his team was a little down after the loss. He asked his team, especially his senior players to take their play to another level.

Did they ever.

No. 3 Trinity won its 11th straight game with a resounding 8-4 win over their rivals, St. Xavier, in the Seventh Region championship, Tuesday night at Eastern High School. A standing room only crowd watched the Shamrocks (32-5) pound out 10 hits including six for extra bases including two home runs in its victory over the defending state champion No. 1 Tigers (27-7).

"We've really been swinging it well the last two and half weeks," said Arnold. "We've really locked in not changing a lot of bad pitches. We did a really good job of getting guys in from third base with two out with the exception of one inning."

Trinity, the regional champion in 2017, took a 3-0 lead in the third inning. The key hit was a Josh Castleman home run over the right field wall into the pine trees. Jared Bryant, who had two hits, scored after doubling home Grant Perry who had singled with the game’s first run.

Bryce Dreher's ground out scored Korbyn Dickerson, who led off with a triple for a 4-0 lead in the fourth.

St. X coach Andy Porta replaced starting pitcher Max Bergman, the loser, with Brycen Harkins.

While Harkins got out of the fourth inning, Trinity scored three more in the fifth. The key hit was a two run home run high over the left field wall by Braden Barry for a 7-1 lead.

"Our approach is always just line drives," said Barry who had two hits. "We come in here and hit the ball hard anywhere in the field. We knew our stuff on Bergman the starter. We did what we always do, hit the ball."

St. X tried to rally in the seventh. A sacrifice fly by Braden Tucker off Grant Brunstetter and a two run home run by Ryan Nicholson cut the deficit to four. But Aric Lyons grounded out ended the game after Noah Nelson was hit by a Dreher pitch.

Trinity sophomore starter Nick Thompson allowed one run, four hits while walking three, and striking out seven. "You've got to tip your hat to the Thompson kid," said St. X coach Andy Porta. "He kept us off balance. He threw a heck of a ball game. We got guys on early. We just couldn't get that key hit. Our guys never really relaxed. We were a bit tight. I think if we get a run or two early, I think we would have relaxed."

Arnold said of his young right hander. "We had a special, special sophomore on the mound today.

Thompson kept the Tigers offense off balance and never let them get in rhythm. "I was just trying to keep my fast balls low. Keep my curve balls slower. Keep'em off balance."

Trinity advances to play Eighth Region champion, North Oldham, a 12-8 winner over Shelby County, Saturday night at Eastern High School.

The Shamrocks own an 11-5 win over the Mustangs on April 27 in the Louisville Invitational Tournament.

"It feels amazing to beat them (St. X) after the loss in the regular season," said Thompson. "We were excited and ready to play."

Trinity has outscored its opponents 61-9 in the post season. The Shamrocks came into the game averaging 8.6 runs per game.

"When you put up eight runs against St. X you better beat them because you’re not going to put up that many runs against that pitching staff," said Arnold.

Arnold said his team has been outstanding during its winning streak.

"You raise your attention a little bit when you play St. X," said Arnold. "They are a great champion. We respect the heck out of those guys.

"We had an epiphany with our seniors about three weeks ago and we went to another level with our intensity in practice and intensity in games. Those seniors have really stepped up and showed these young guys how to be a champion."

The Shamrocks want more. "It's huge. We just want to come out and win state," said Thompson.

 

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