May 24th, 2018

Colts fall to Butler in 22nd District final


Ed Peak

Staff Writer

Colts fall to Butler in 22nd District final
Garrett Matthews and Evan Tinsley of DeSales and Johniel Morera of Doss / photo by Ed Peak

Timely hitting. Butler had it. DeSales didn't.

Check the linescore and both teams had eight hits. But Butler took advantage with key hits in a 7-2 win over DeSales, Wednesday, at Milan Perpich Field to win the 22nd District Championship.

DeSales (16-15) had won three district titles in a row in what was the sixth straight season the two south end rivals met for the district title.

"It just wasn't our day," said DeSales coach TJ Cataldo. "We didn't get the hits when we needed to. We didn't get hits with runners on and they did."

Take the Butler first inning when the Bears scored three runs. Brad Jones singled home two runs as Kendrick Hale and Cameron McKune scored. Reece Kapple followed a double that scoring Jones.

In the third DeSales put on a two out rally as catcher Sam Newkirk and freshman infielder Jayden Scroggins singled. Butler junior left handed pitcher Thomas Hodgkins fall behind 2-0 on Andrew Smith. But Hodgkins, the winner, battled back and struck out Smith on a curveball to end the inning.

"I was looking for probably a curve ball on the outside of the plate or high," said Smith. "But it dove in on me and caught me off guard."

In the bottom of the inning Butler (17-13) scored twice. Travis Rennirt sacrifice fly scored Kendall Hale who was hit by a Jordan Lacy pitch. Kapple reached on Michael Purcell's low throw to first and McKune, who had three hits, sprinted home and the Bears led 5-0.

"At the beginning, I struggled with curve and change up," said Lacy. "But I gathered them towards the end."

In the fifth Butler's Kopple, who had three rbi's, singled home two runs scoring McKune and Rennirt for a 7-0 lead.

"When we walked some batters today they hit the ball. It's a pretty simple game when you take advantage of mistakes and they took advantage of our misques," said Cataldo. "We just walked too many guys today....can't give away free runs, free base runners."

DeSales pitchers walked two, but hit three batters.

"We usually don't start off strong hitting wise and I think that's what got us down a little at the beginning," said Lacy, the losing pitcher. "Just coming out and not providing in the first inning."

DeSales broke up the shutout in the sixth as pinch hitter junior Noah Lawless singled off reliever Andrew Cauley scoring Smith. Ryan O'Shea walked to load the bases but Evan Tinsley, one of three freshman starters for the Colts flyed to left ending the threat.

The Colts made things interesting in the seventh as Lacy drew a bases loaded walk off Matthew Craven scoring Newkirk. Garrett Matthews, Nick Heil struck out and

McClinton, a freshman grounded out to end the game.

"I'm proud of the way they fought back," said Cataldo. "We always preach to these guys the games never over. In that last inning we had bases loaded, gave ourselves a chance. Unfortunately we weren't able to take advantage of it."

Despite losing DeSales advances to next week’s Sixth Region Tournament but will have to open on the road against a district champion, Pleasure Ridge Park, North Bullitt or Bullitt East, a team the Colts lost to 5-2, April 30.

"We'll get some practice tomorrow and we'll talk about a couple things we did well today and some of the things we need to do better. We'll get ready for Monday."

Cataldo said his team will work on hitting and defense.

"Oh yeah, we'll work on hitting," said Cataldo. "We'll work on defense. Defense wasn't as crisp as we need it last two games. We'll get everybody on the same page and get ready for Monday."

Butler will host a district runner up Monday. Fairdale, Southern, or Fern Creek.

"The (first inning) has been an important part of the ball game all year for us," said Butler coach Josh Wolff. "We come out with the right intensity, the right focus and set the tone. When we do that we are a pretty good ball club. If we come out and kind of go through the motions we're not a very good ball club."

DeSales had two players selected to the All-District Team. Junior Garrett Matthews and freshman Evan Tinsley. Butler had Reece Kapple, Thomas Hodgkins, and Luke Lacefield selected.


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