It wasn’t how Hazard wanted to end the season.
The Bulldogs fell to Trinity 13-0 in five innings last Friday in the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Baseball State Tournament quarterfinals at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
The game was originally supposed to be played Thursday evening, but rain delayed the game until Friday evening.
“No excuses,” Hazard coach John Meehan said. “Trinity had the same circumstances too. We stayed at the ballpark all day Friday just waiting. I don’t think that played a factor in the outcome.”
Hazard had some uncharacteristic errors that led to three Trinity runs in the top of the first inning.
“That’s what you get in the state tournament, great competition,” Meehan said. “We made some uncharacteristic errors to start the game. I think we committed four errors in the first that led to three runs. Then we gave up two more runs in the second and it kind of snowballed on us from there.
“We went through every pitcher. It’s kind of ironic because we had played great defense all year and we had played perfect defense against Corbin, but it was just one of those games.”
After that, Trinity added two runs in the top of the second, six in the top of the third and two in the top of the fourth.
Davis Crane got Trinity on the board with an RBI triple in the top of the first. The second and third runs of the inning for the Shamrocks came on errors.
In the top of the second, Daylen Lile doubled to left to score a run. Jared Bryant followed with an RBI single to push the Trinity lead to 5-0 after the top of the second inning.
Braden Barry blasted a three-run homer for Trinity in the top of the third. After the third, Trinity held an 11-0 lead.
Garrett Miller had Hazard’s only hit in the game.
Hazard ended the season with a 29-8 record.
“We had a great season,” Meehan said. “We won 29 ballgames. We lost two games in Myrtle Beach. We were a team. I’m proud of them.”
Trinity fell to McCracken County 6-5 in the state semifinals. Tates Creek beat McCracken County 4-2 in the championship game to win the state title.
Hazard will lose four seniors. Andy Baker, Dalton Baker, Bailey Blair and Kyle Johnson were Hazard’s four seniors.
The four seniors helped lead the Bulldogs to four straight 14th Region championships. The Bulldogs advanced to the Final Four last season and the Elite 8 round this season.
“This was a special group of seniors,” Meehan said. “They did something that nobody else has done at this school by winning a region title each of their high school years. I just watched them in the handshake line after the game and they all had their heads up. Win or lose, this bunch is cordial. They took the loss like men. I was kind of shocked because all, but three or four guys rode the bus back as a team. Usually guys drive back with their parents or this or that, but these guys stayed together and laughed and had a great time around each other on the way back. I think they just wanted as much time with each other as possible. That is reflective of these kids. I know graduation happens and I’m sure we’ll miss them, but we’ll regroup and start all over next February 15th.
“Those four seniors have ultimate respect of each other and the game. They all had over 3.0 grade point averages and all will be going to college. Those four are special players.”