Trinity routs McCracken County to win state title
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The ‘curse’ has been lifted: Trinity High School’s baseball program has its first state championship.
Behind a deep, disciplined offense and stellar pitch from senior ace Colin Murphy, the Shamrocks beat McCracken County 10-0 in Saturday’s state tournament final at Legends Field. The game was suspended after five innings due to the 10-point leniency rule.
Of the 10 boys’ sports currently offered by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, Trinity had won at least one state title out of nine of them. The baseball team finished the sweep on Saturday, helping Trinity join rival St. Xavier as the only school in the state to do so.
“The pressure’s off a bit now,” Shamrocks sixth-year coach Rick Arnold said. “There was some kind of curse, and now it’s gone. Either way, these kids deserve all the credit.
Ranked # 1 in the state and # 19 in the nation by PerfectGame.org, Trinity finished 41-2 and joined 2003 State Champion Paul Dunbar as the only teams in Kentucky history to win as many matches in a season.
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“It just shows that we’re not just a school of football,” said Daylen Lile, senior center fielder for Trinity and Mr. Baseball 2021 from Kentucky. “We’re also a baseball school now.”
The Shamrocks also exorcised some demons from the playoffs.
They were 0-2 in the previous state finals, falling to Owensboro 4-2 in 1983 – Arnold’s first year at Trinity – and to Covington Catholic 5-3 in 2002. Trinity had also been eliminated from the tournament. State twice by McCracken County in recent years, losing 1-0 in the first round of the 2017 tournament and 6-5 in the semifinals of the 2019 event.
But now the program can proudly walk into the Steinhauser Gymnasium, the campus arena that recognizes all of the school’s state titles.
“When you go into our basketball hall, you will see a lot of banners up there,” Murphy said. “Football has thirty million, and then you watch baseball, it’s just a bunch of regional people. I’m glad we put ‘2021’ up there.
Trinity left little doubt on Saturday, scoring four runs in the third set and five more in the fourth to gain control.
Matt Klein’s sacrifice fly gave the Shamrocks a 1-0 lead, and Korbyn Dickerson, Brady Willis and Austin Taylor called with RBI singles for a 4-0 bulge. Taylor’s single ended the night for McCracken County freshman starter Ross Aldridge (8-1).
Trinity sent 11 batters home in the fourth inning, with two points from Dickerson that doubled the big hit. Dickerson, a University of Louisville entry, finished 3 for 4 with four RBIs.
Murphy, a commit from Spalding University, took care of the rest. He allowed two hits and struck out six and ended his season with a perfect 10-0 record. He was named MVP of the state tournament.
4th-ranked McCracken County (35-6) had scored 10 or more points in 10 of their previous 13 games but couldn’t face Murphy.
“It was a really bad day to have a bad day for our club,” said Mustangs coach Zach Hobbs. “It’s just kind of come down. It was just a hard day. … Once we got off, we started to squeeze. We were trying to hit a seven-point home run with no one on base. “
Trinity started the season with 16 straight wins before losing a 5-4 decision to Floyd Central, Indiana on April 26. The Shamrocks lost to DeSales 4-2 on May 20 but avenged that loss on June 12 with a 13-3 rout in the state tournament semi.
After closing the season with 11 straight wins – scoring at least 10 points out of nine of them – Arnold said his team deserved to be mentioned among the country’s top 10 this season.
“We had the best high school hitter (Lile) in the country, and that was the catalyst,” said Arnold. “There was a time this year that I thought we could go undefeated and then, boom, we fell to earth against Floyd Central. I’m a realist, but I knew this team was special.
Jason Frakes: 502-582-4046; [email protected]; Twitter: @kyhighs.
TRINIDAD 004 51 – 10 11 1
MCCRACKEN COUNTY 000 00 – 0 2 2
WP – Colin Murphy (10-0). LP – Ross Aldridge (8-1).
MVP – Colin Murphy (Trinidad)
Team of all tournaments – Daylen Lile, Korbyn Dickerson (Trinidad); Jack Bennett, Ben Higdon, Brandon Dodd (McCracken County); Jackson Shoulders, Austin Long (County of Lyon); Preston Barnes, Ethan Wood (Danville); Jarrett Napier (Danger); Logan Bennett (Whitley County); Michée Cowen (Lafayette); Ty Foree (Collins).