Daylen Lile, senior at Trinity, didn’t think he would be able to return home. He hit a triple but due to his speed and an error on the pitch, the MLB’s scheduled second-round draft pick never had to stop running and scored.
It was Lile’s second triple that evening. He went 4-for-4 with three triples, one single and one run batted in. His three triples tied the KHSAA record for most in a single game – a feat that has only been achieved five other times.
His four hits were half of the Shamrocks’ total for the game. Lile’s performance helped No.1 Trinity defeat No.21 men, 6-4, on Monday night in the Seventh Region baseball semifinals.
“I caught it at the last second with the coach telling me to go because I really didn’t think I was going to score,” Lile said of her last point scored.
Trinity trainer Richard Arnold knows all about Lile’s ability to make a big difference.
“He can definitely change the game, can change a team,” said Arnold. “He’s the best hitter in the country in my mind.”
Both teams got off to a quick start in the first heat. Lile hit a triple on the first pitch he saw to give Trinity (36-2) his first scorer. Then, after a hit, Korbyn Dickerson hit an RBI single to bring in Lile.
The Shamrocks added two more runs after a hit from Austin Taylor caused two male players to collide and the runners were able to return home. But Male (22-11) responded at the bottom of the first. With goals loaded, Matthew McDowell tied the game with a brace that brought every runner home.
Trinity scored two more early in the second after Lile’s triple RBI. The men picked up one late in the inning Max Ullom hit a single RBI in the middle, but the Shamrocks were able to block the runners in the corners to keep the 5-4 lead.
“We really hit a few balls hard, then we had a break on a flying ball, and then we returned a few,” said Arnold. “I think at the start there was a lot of nervousness on both sides.”
At the end of the sixth, Male had the opportunity to get even closer as Trinity clung to a 6-4 lead. Lile dropped a catch in the outfield, which gave the Bulldogs a runner-up with two outs. Sam Perkins hit the ball to left field, but the home pitch was just in time for the catcher to hit the runner.
The men once again had a chance to win the match at the end of the seventh. The Bulldogs filled the goals with one out, but one strikeout and a flying ball in the third ended their season.
Trinity will face No. 8 winner St. Xavier and DuPont Manual in the Seventh Region Championship game on Tuesday at 7 pm. The location remains to be determined.
“It doesn’t matter who we play,” Lile said. “We’re just going to move on. This game is a thing of the past.
TRINITY 320 010 0 – 6 8 1
MALE 310,000 0 – 4 7 2
Saint-Xavier 3, Manuel 2
With each round, the pressure kept mounting. DuPont Manual held the lead on # 8 St. Xavier from the start of the second to the top of the fourth. The Tigers only managed one hit in the first three innings.
But St. Xavier never let the pressure completely take over. Eventually the hits and the races came. When Cooper Smith used an RBI brace to score the game’s first point for St. Xavier in the bottom of the fourth, the team took a deep breath.
The Tigers used the momentum to clinch a 3-2 victory over Manual on Monday night in the Seventh Region baseball semifinal.
“We’ve been talking all year about that kind of quiet confidence,” Smith said. “We’ve had a lot of ball games all year round, and I think earlier in the year the preparation of those really helped us here tonight.”
Manual came on the board first at the start of the second after an RBI single from Grant Ballard. St. Xavier elected to oust starting pitcher Jake Gregor in the third inning after putting runners in the corners with two outs.
Luke Lantz then came for the Tigers to pitch and escaped this situation unscathed. Then in the fourth inning, with the bases loaded and no outs, he allowed only one point.
“Lantz came in and did a phenomenal job for us,” said St. Xavier coach Andy Porta. “You have to be in damage control mode there, and it’s a success. With the bases loaded, it’s pie in the sky. You dream there, but for Luke it was phenomenal and it was a huge boost for us.
The second point Manual scored in the loaded base situation would be the last point the Crimsons would put on the board. Smith’s RBI scored the first point for St. Xavier and from there the Tigers took over.
In the fifth inning, St. Xavier tied the score 2-2 after a failed out attempt first saw the runner move up to third and Parker Guillaume brought him home with a sacrifice ball.
The Tigers finally took their first lead of the night with a single RBI from Smith in the sixth inning. The only hit given to Lantz came in the bottom of the seventh, but St. Xavier’s defense was successful in the end not to give up another point.
After the victory, St. Xavier’s attention immediately turned to who he will face Tuesday night for the Championship of the Seventh Region – Trinity No.1.
“It’s going to be fun,” Smith said. “It will be the biggest game of the year for both teams. (We’re) kind of going into it with that quiet confidence we’ve been talking about all year and just playing our game. “
MANUAL 010 100 0 – 2 2 2
ST. XAVIER 000 111 0 – 3 7 2