West Jessamine’s 3-2 loss to Lexington Christian can be traced back to the fourth inning in Tuesday night’s home game. Not only do the Colts know the inning the game slipped out of their hands, but also the exact play and miscommunication.
With one out in the fourth inning, a ground ball was hit out to the left side of the infield. The ball wasn’t struck too hard and could have been played by third baseman Christian Beckley cutting across the field or shortstop Tyler Adams. Beckley didn’t cut across and allowed Adams to play the ball, but the ball went right under his glove and into left field, turning a routine out into an error and a base runner.
The next batter drew a walk to put two on, and the next batter flew out to left field for the second out of the inning — and what could have been the third out of the inning.
Still in the top of the fourth with two outs and two men on base, LCA hit back-to-back singles, driving in two runs and taking a 2-0 lead.
Following a pitching change, Josh Carroll was able to induce a ground ball to third base, but a poor throw allowed the batter to reach base safely and the runner on second base to score. The batter would be thrown out trying to go to second base.
“They ended up getting three runs where we gave them every one of them,” West Jessamine coach Jody Hamilton said.
West was able to get on the board in the fifth inning with a triple down the left-field line by Adams; a groundout by Tyler Ward drove him in.
Ward was brought on in relief in the top of the sixth. He worked through the sixth without much trouble, but three two-out singles in the top of the seventh had the Eagles threatening to score again. Ward worked out of the jam by striking out the batter and keeping it a 3-1 game.
West was able to get another run back in the bottom of the seventh after Lane Brooks reached on an error. A base hit by Dalton James put two runners on, and a fielder’s choice by Ward put runners on the corners with two outs.
Sophomore Daulton Peters came through with a two-out single to right that scored Brooks. Ward moved up to third and Peters went to second on the throw.
With the tying run 90 feet away, West couldn’t come up with another big two-out hit to extend the game.
The Colts have been tracking productive at bats this season. Out of 32 at bats, only nine were not productive.
“That is tremendous. The only problem is the ones we had that were not productive were when we had people in scoring position,” Hamilton said. West stranded nine runners on the night, seven of whom were in scoring position.
Hamilton was very pleased with the pitching again. Starter Jarred Jones retired the first 10 batters he faced before allowing three runs. He struck out three in three and two-thirds innings.
Carroll set the Eagles down in order in the fifth inning before handing the ball to Ward. Ward retired six of the 10 batters he faced, striking out two.
“I thought pitching-wise we were tremendous ... It was really good to see Jarred throw how he did,” Hamilton said.
The win is LCA’s first of the season and first win over West since 2008.
“They’re a good team, but you hate to lose; it’s the first time they’ve beaten us in a long time, so it kind of hurts,” Hamilton said. “We were hoping we’d never lose to them again.”
West Jessamine will be in Florida next week for the Vero Beach Invitational.