Tates Creek takes title

Jared MacDonald - [email protected]
Tate's Creek's Eli Tencza delivers a pitch during a Whitaker Bank/KHSAA State Baseball Tournament quarterfinal game against Pleasure Ridge Park, Thursday, in Lexington. Tencza was the winning pitcher in Sunday's championship game. (Jared MacDonald, The Ledger Independent) -

Tates Creek entered the 2019 Whitaker Bank/KHSAA State Baseball Tournament as one of two teams in the field of eight to have previously won a state title.

On Sunday, the Commodores claimed the program’s first championship since 1986 and fourth overall with a 4-2 victory over McCracken County at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

Tates Creek got in an early hole, surrendering two runs to the Mustangs in the top of the first inning. Ben Higdon singled off Commodores’ pitcher Eli Tencza to lead off the game. With one down, Grant Davis singled to right to put two on and a double from Logan Verble scored the first run of the game. Brandon Dodd followed with an RBI groundout to give McCracken County a 2-0 lead.

Tencza didn’t allow another run in the game. He finished off the complete game allowing two runs on seven hits and four walks. The senior struck out four batters. McCracken County left nine runners on base in the game.

The Commodores evened the score in the bottom of the second by plating two runs on McCracken County pitcher Jacob Ehling. Tencza started the inning with a single to left-center and Chandler Workman followed with an RBI double. With one down, Mason Gentry hit Tates Creek’s second double of the frame to score Workman and knot things up, 2-2.

Tates Creek tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning to take the lead. Bradley Fetherston hit a one-out single up the middle and Noah Blythe followed with an RBI double to score the go-ahead run. The Commodores added an insurance run on an RBI single from Colin Burgess to make it 4-2, before Tates Creek finished off the championship with a 4-6-3 double play two innings later.

The Commodores close the season with a 35-7 record. Tates Creek advanced to the state tournament after claiming the 43rd District and 11th Region titles and knocking off Somerset, 6-2, in semi-state game 6. They beat Pleasure Ridge Park – the only other team in it to have previously claimed a title – in the quarterfinals on Thursday, 3-2, and Breckinridge County in the semifinals on Saturday, 5-1.

The program’s first two titles came in 1978 and 1980.

Ehling took the loss for McCracken County. The senior allowed four runs on six hits and two walks in 4.1 innings, before being replaced by Higdon, who allowed two hits and one walk in 1.2 innings. Ehling finished with three strikeouts and Higdon had four.

The Mustangs advanced to the state tournament after claiming the 2nd District and 1st Region titles and beating Hopkinsville, 14-1, in semi-state game 1. McCracken County held on to beat Rowan County in the quarterfinals on Thursday, 2-1, and advanced to the finals when Davis hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh on Saturday to give the Mustangs a 6-5 win over Trinity.

McCracken County’s season comes to a close at 33-8.

Tate’s Creek’s Eli Tencza delivers a pitch during a Whitaker Bank/KHSAA State Baseball Tournament quarterfinal game against Pleasure Ridge Park, Thursday, in Lexington. Tencza was the winning pitcher in Sunday’s championship game. (Jared MacDonald, The Ledger Independent)
https://maysville-online.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/web1__DSC0121.jpgTate’s Creek’s Eli Tencza delivers a pitch during a Whitaker Bank/KHSAA State Baseball Tournament quarterfinal game against Pleasure Ridge Park, Thursday, in Lexington. Tencza was the winning pitcher in Sunday’s championship game. (Jared MacDonald, The Ledger Independent)
Commodores claim first state championship since 1986

Jared MacDonald

[email protected]