Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Congratulations Bulldogs! Dunbar takes State BaseballChampionship

A record crowd of 4,467 saw a familiar sight -- a Lexington team celebrating a state title on the infield grass of Applebee's Park.

Dunbar, finishing a 38-6 season, also won the crown in 2003. Lexington Christian took the trophy in 2005, and Lexington Catholic was the 2006 winner.

Dunbar went 10-1 in these playoffs, with pitching, defense and timely hitting carrying them to the top.

Thomas Royse, the ace of the staff, was the star on the mound last night. The 6-foot-6 right-hander who has signed with Louisville went six innings, gave up three hits and struck out seven to improve his record to 14-1.

He threw one pitch in the bottom of the seventh before taking a bow, getting a hug from his pitching coach, and walking to the dugout to the cheers of the fans.

"That was very tough, a very emotional moment," he said.

Going into the finals, Shelby County Coach Donnie Williams said his team couldn't afford to let Dunbar have a big inning.

Needless to say, he didn't get his wish.

The Bulldogs got all their runs in one marathon at-bat as they sent 14 batters to the plate in the third.

Dunbar did some hitting -- Chris Wood (tournament MVP) had two hits and two RBI in the inning, and Giuliani and Chris Kubajak each had a double.

But Shelby County was its own worst enemy. Rockets' pitchers walked in a pair of runs and beaned another batter with the bases loaded.

Shelby County's defense was at fault, too. It dropped a routine fly ball to help fuel the rally.

Giving Royse a 9-0 lead is like locking up the gold in Fort Knox. He said he "couldn't have pictured" a better scenario than having a huge lead.

This from the Herald-Leader, Photo by MARK CORNELISON .

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