The Courier-Journal (Louisville)

Trinity rides 24-game win streak into battle between Louisville powers

- Jason Frakes Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK

LEXINGTON — Whether it was the “morning fog” of a 10 a.m. first pitch or a simple letdown, Trinity High School baseball coach Rick Arnold wasn’t happy.

His team had missed a sign to end an offensive threat in the top of the third inning and then committed two errors in the bottom half, allowing Russell County to score three runs and tie the score.

Arnold was convinced the mental mistake had led to physical ones.

“That’s karma,” said Arnold, still a bit upset once the game had ended. “That’s the baseball gods kicking you in the butt.”

Arnold pulled his team aside for “a little chewing,” and they got the message. Trinity scored 11 runs over the fourth and fifth innings on its way to a 14-3 rout of Russell County in the quarterfin­als of the state tournament at Legends Field.

The game was stopped after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

“I think there was a little morning fog that we didn’t handle as well as we should have,” Arnold said, “but we came back and figured it out.”

Arnold’s message was simple: “Come ready to hit,” sophomore right fielder Zach Floyd said.

The Shamrocks finished with 11 hits, getting at least one from eight of their nine starters. Kyle Campbell, Evan Boeckmann and Floyd had two hits apiece.

The speedy Floyd, batting in the No. 9 hole, had a team-high three RBIs.

“Just do my job and get on base so the 1,2, 3, 4 and 5 guys can get me in and let me use my wheels,” Floyd said of his approach.

Trinity (38-4) ran its winning streak to 24 and advanced to face Pleasure Ridge Park in a state semifinal set for 10 a.m. Friday at the University of Kentucky’s Kentucky Proud Park.

The Shamrocks led 3-0 after the first inning before Russell County (31-11) capitalize­d on those two errors in the

bottom of the third. Jack Shearer’s tworun double to right tied the score at 3.

Colin Sander’s two-run single was the big blow of a five-run fourth inning that gave Trinity an 8-3 lead. Campbell’s two-run double keyed the six-run fifth inning that made it 14-3.

If there was any anxiety after that third inning, Trinity quickly got over it.

“The physical mistakes won’t kill you, but the mental ones lose you games like this, especially late in the year,” senior third baseman Dane Morrow said. “We came out the next inning and perfectly executed … so it was a good change of momentum.

“It took them getting a little bit of life to get us going again.”

Now it’s on to the state semifinals as Trinity chases it second state title in four seasons.

Arnold knows he has the team to beat. His mission is to make sure it doesn’t beat itself.

“We know if we let teams hang around that they can beat you” Arnold said. “We know we should be taking care of business out here. We weren’t. … Once they tightened their mental approach up a little bit, it made a big difference.”

TRINITY 300 56 - 14 11 2 RUSSELL COUNTY 003 00 - 3 5 2 WP - Gray Davis (11-0). LP - Lincoln Helm (5-2).

 ?? SCOTT UTTERBACK/COURIER JOURNAL ?? Trinity’s Gray Davis shouts in celebratio­n after he finishes the inning against Russell County on Saturday.
SCOTT UTTERBACK/COURIER JOURNAL Trinity’s Gray Davis shouts in celebratio­n after he finishes the inning against Russell County on Saturday.

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