July 24, 2021

Chat with longtime Courier Journal high school sports writer Jason Frakes

Recently, The Courier Journal shared a bit of its detailed plan to continue to provide the best and most exclusive preps sports coverage in Kentucky.

Whether it’s stories chronicling the biggest games or analysis that unpacks the recruiting prospects of your favorite high school players, The Courier Journal has been Kentucky’s leader in high school sports coverage for a long time. And our chief high school sports writer, Jason Frakes, has been the face of our coverage for close to 20 years.

Jason will be available to answer your questions about any and all things high school sports at 2 p.m. Thursday.

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The curse has been lifted: Trinity High School’s baseball program has its first state championship.

Behind a deep and disciplined offense and the stellar pitching of senior ace Colin Murphy, the Shamrocks blitzed McCracken County 10-0 in Saturday’s state tournament final at Legends Field. The game was halted after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Of the 10 boys sports currently offered by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, Trinity had won at least one state title in nine of them. The baseball team completed the sweep Saturday, helping Trinity join rival St. Xavier as the only schools in the state to do so.

The pressure’s off a little bit now, sixth-year Shamrocks coach Rick Arnold said. There was some kind of curse, and now it’s gone. Whatever it was, these kids deserve all the credit.

Ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 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 that many games in a season.

It just shows we’re not only a football school, said Daylen Lile, Trinity’s senior center fielder and Kentucky’s 2021 Mr. Baseball. We’re also a baseball school now.

The Shamrocks also exorcised some postseason demons.

They were 0-2 in previous state finals, falling to Owensboro 4-2 in 1983 – Arnold’s freshman year at Trinity – and to Covington Catholic 5-3 in 2002. Trinity also had been eliminated from the state tournament twice by McCracken County in recent years, falling 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 walk with pride into Steinhauser Gymnasium, the campus arena that recognizes all of the school’s state titles.

When you go to our basketball gym you’ll see a lot of banners up there, Murphy said. Football has thirty million, and then you look at baseball it’s just a bunch of regionals. I’m glad we get to put ‘2021’ up there.

Trinity left little doubt Saturday, scoring four runs in the third inning and five more in the fourth to take control.

Matt Klein’s sacrifice fly gave the Shamrocks a 1-0 lead, and Korbyn Dickerson, Brady Willis and Austin Taylor followed with RBI singles for a 4-0 bulge. Taylor’s single ended the night for freshman McCracken County starter Ross Aldridge (8-1).

Trinity sent 11 batters to the plate in the fourth inning, with Dickerson’s two-run double the big blow. Dickerson, a University of Louisville commit, finished 3 for 4 with four RBIs.

Murphy, a Spalding University commit, took care of the rest. He allowed two hits and struck out six and finished his season with a perfect 10-0 record. He was named the state tournament’s MVP.

No. 4-ranked McCracken County (35-6) had scored 10 or more runs in 10 of its previous 13 games but could get little going against Murphy.

This was a really bad day to have a bad day for our club, Mustangs coach Zach Hobbs said. It just kind of went downhill. It was just a rough day. … Once we got down we started pressing. We were trying to hit a seven-run home run with nobody on base.

Earlier:Trinity’s Daylen Lile named Kentucky’s Mr. Baseball; All-State teams announced

Trinity started the season with 16 straight victories before dropping a 5-4 decision at Floyd Central (Indiana) on April 26. The Shamrocks lost to DeSales 4-2 on May 20 but avenged that loss June 12 with a 13-3 rout in the semistate round of the state tournament.