By Dan Manley
Advocate Sports Editor
Coach Chris Varney and his staff were helpless to change things.
The Montgomery County players were simply caught in the divide where failure is going to overcome success no matter what you do.
And then there was the rain.
And all of the travel.
Throw all of that in together and you had an unusual ending to the Montgomery County High School baseball season with the Indians making it all the way to the regional title game only to be routed by the Campbell County Camels, 17-0.
Montgomery County beat Campbell County, 7-5, just a month previous to Saturday’s regional final on the same field outside of Alexandria in northern Kentucky.
But a Montgomery County team that was riding high with wins over Bourbon County and Clark County in the 40th District Tournament and back-to-back shutout wins over Maysville St. Patrick and Bishop Brossart in the regional tournament, hit a wall in the finals.
That first wall was one made of water.
The Tribe seemed to have a tremendous amount of momentum after Tuesday evening’s 2-0 win over Bishop Brossart and then they got the word late Wednesday that the championship game had been canceled.
Then came Thursday and no game and then came Friday and another trip to Campbell County where the Indians trailed 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning when they were shut out by another downpour.
So they loaded up one more time Saturday for a late afternoon continuation of Friday’s start and they were behind 9-0 just a half-inning after the resumption of play.
By the end of the day the Camels had collected 18 hits, including three home runs and two doubles to combine with three Montgomery County errors and two walks to produce all of those runs.
Brady Brooks, who ended up being the winning pitcher, put the icing on the cake when he smacked a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the fourth to complete the scoring.
The Indians were blanked on five hits, all singles as they left nine runners stranded.
Montgomery County missed a great chance on Friday night when the game began as they loaded the bases with one out and hit into a double play to end the inning.
Then Campbell County came back to score two runs in the bottom of the first. Third baseman Noah Brewer hit a solo home run and then a pair of errors allowed the second run to score.
Still, the Indians had two on with nobody out in the top of the second and sacrificed the runners to second and third before a strikeout ended that threat.
About 22 hours later, when they came to bat for a third time they found themselves trailing 9-0 and things never got any better.
Montgomery County got three hits in the game from Tyler Jacobs and one each from Aaron Toy and Jakob Sponcil.
Seth Adams started on the mound for the Indians but didn’t come back after play stopped Friday. He gave way to junior Luke Fuller who eventually gave way to sophomore Tyler Jacobs, but no one came away unscathed.
The loss ended Montgomery County’s season at 19-12 while Campbell County improved to 21-11 and advanced on to the KHSAA State Baseball Tournament this week at Whitaker Bank Park in Lexington, where they’ll take on McCracken County Friday evening in the opening round of play.
Despite the tough ending the Indians will return most of their lineup next year and should be one of the top teams in the region.
Bishop Brossart 0
Following a number of outstanding plays, the Montgomery County Indians saved the best for last on Tuesday evening of last week.
The Tribe held a 2-0 lead in the top of the seventh inning when Bishop Brossart put runners on at first and second with just one out and their leading hitter, senior catcher Trent Parker, coming to the plate.
After reliever Luke Fuller pushed the count to 1-1, Parker hit a line drive that exploded off Parker’s bat like a rocket. But it was right at Fuller, who, somewhat in self defense, caught the line drive, wheeled and delivered a strike to Seth Adams at first base to double off the runner and in the blink of an eye the game was over.
“Pretty incredible the way it ended,” said Coach Chris Varney. “Those are the kind of plays it takes to win big games and I thought we made a number of those throughout the game, none bigger than that one.”
The victory moved the Indians into the 10th Region championship game against Campbell County, which ousted Clark County, 6-2, in the upper bracket semifinal round contest.
Fuller came on in relief in the top of the seventh to lock down the game after sophomore lefthander Tyler Jacobs hurled six scoreless innings.
Jacobs kept the Mustangs off the scoreboard by working out of three big jams in the first three innings and then coasting through the middle part of the game.
Meanwile, the Indians were able to push across single runs in the first two innings and that was all they would need.
On defense, the Indians always had an answer for the Mustangs scoring efforts.
In the top of the first inning Jacobs walked the lead-off batter. But then he struck out the No. 2 hitter before picking Jacob Steffen off of first base.
Thanks to that play, a walk and a single simple allowed the Mustangs to get runners to second and third before he struck out Tanner Griffin for the final out of the inning.
In the second inning the Mustangs put a pair of runners on again before the inning ended on a come-backer to the mound.
Then in the third they had the bases loaded and once again, Jacobs got the third out on a bounced right back to him.
So the Mustangs left seven runners stranded in the first three innings and left 10 men on, five of them in scoring position, in the game.
Meanwhile the Indians got some early offense.
Laken Robertson led off the bottom of the first with a single on the left side of the infield and Brandon Dyer sacrificed him to second.
Then Tyler Jacobs laid down a perfect bunt single to put runners at