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Central Hardin, Mercer County earn upset wins to reach KHSAA state baseball finals


Central Hardin jumps out to 6-0 lead to defeat No. 2 St. X

Central Hardin High School, ranked No. 4 in the most recent Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association top 25 poll, jumped out to an early six-run lead in the second inning and held of a rally from St. Xavier High School to preserve an 8-6 win. Central Hardin sophomore shortstop Troy Squires was 3-4 with two doubles, one RBI and three runs scored, and senior catcher Russ Morse was 3-3 with three RBIs and one walk. St. X senior pitcher Ian Tompkins, a Western Kentucky University signee, took the loss after surrendering six runs on four hits in two innings. St. X senior right fielder Matt Spalding slugged a home run and drove in two runs. (Box Score)

Mercer County scores four runs in seventh to earn walk-off win

Mercer County High School, which was not ranked in the latest KHSBCA poll, tallied just four hits in its gave versus No. 9 Pleasure Ridge Park High School, but scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn a walk-off 5-4 win. With two outs in the seventh, Mercer County loaded the bases on a walk, single and fielders choice. Mercer County then plated four runs on fielding errors from PRP senior shortstop Austin Hockman and senior right fielder Chris Burke. PRP sophomore pitcher Hunter Johnson took the loss after surrendering five unearned runs in six and two-third innings while striking out three batters and walking three.(Box Score)

Central Hardin and Mercer County will play for the state championship at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington.

Photo of Matt Spalding by Jon Hale.


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