That’s Incredible – Part II, Caverna Baseball, Spring 1961


The UK baseball field as it appears today. In 1961 there was no grandstand, only bleachers. There were no outfield fences either; A slight bank rising to a chain-link fence separated right field from the UK football practice field. But, there was a grass infield, only one of a few in the state at the time.

Park City Daily News – Friday, June 9, 1961

Caverna Colonels

A black and white photograph covers the top left half of the lead sports page of the Park City Daily News.  It’s good that the picture is in black and white and that the only color the paper has is found in the Sunday Comics.  The school colors are purple and white, and yet these uniforms are white with maroon lettered COLONELS across the chest.  Royal blue piping trims the front vests of the uniforms and lines the seams of the trousers.  Maroon caps with a white block “C” adorn each head.  Every player and coach has undershirts with maroon long sleeves and solid maroon stirrups expose a minimum of white sox above each players cleats and rise to mid-calf.  Maroon is as close to purple as you could order from area sporting goods store it seems.  The players are lined up in two rows, first row seated on a bench and back row standing.  On the first row sit the five seniors, left gloves all resting on a left knee.  Behind them stand the coaches and the underclassmen, most with hands clasped behind the back. And behind both rows stands the baseball scoreboard at the Horse Cave home field, numbered with innings 1 through 10 followed by “total”.

The caption:

STATE CHAMPIONS are these Caverna High Colonels.  From left in front are manager James Percell (kneeling), Jim Grider, Phil Rogers, Joe Campbell, David Moore and Dennis Doyle.  Back row, from left: Assistant coach Bob Chapman, Don Gentry, Ed Ford, Terry Branstetter, Don Lindsey, Garry Logsdon, Clifton Logsdon, Danny Logsdon, Barry Toohey, Bob Strickland and coach Ralph Dorsey.

Doyle Hurls One-Hitter

Caverna Edges Waggener 1-0

For State High School Title….

Caverna brought the State High School Baseball championship trophy back to Southern Kentucky for the first time in 32 years today.

The Colonels rode the tremendous pitching of Dennis Doyle, the 1-2 offensive punch of Doyle and Joe Campbell and an unprecedented game ending triple play to a 1-0 victory over Louisville Waggener in the State tournament final at Lexington yesterday.

Thus Caverna joined Bowling Green (1929) as the only area team ever to win the state championship.

Doyle walked in the fourth inning and scored the game’s lone run on Campbell’s booming 425-foot triple to left.

Doyle pitched a one-hitter for his second tournament victory in two days.  And the lone hit off him, a lead-off single in the seventh and final inning by Mike Patrick, was quickly followed by the first triple play veteran observers could ever recall in a state championship game.

After Patrick’s single to short center, Bruce Martin was safe on a fielder’s choice.  He hit a skipper to third baseman Barry Toohey, who tried to get Patrick at second but was late as the ball stuck in his glove.

“I was still confident they would never score off Dennis,” said coach Ralph Dorsey, who conceded the victory gave him his “greatest thrill” as a coach.  “But I never expected the game to end as it did.”

*  *

The next batter, Steve Porter, hit a medium fly to centerfielder Don Lindsey.  Patrick tried to advance to third after the catch, but was an easy out on Lindsey’s peg to Toohey.  When Martin tried to advance to second on the play Toohey threw to second baseman David Moore who made the tag to end the triple play.

The one hitter was the second straight Dorsey got from his ace mound corps of Doyle and Campbell.  It was Campbell that had tossed the one-hitter in the semifinal victory over Lafayette that morning as also Waggener edged Newport Catholic 2-1 in the semis.

The championship triumph left Caverna with a 19-2 record for the season.  Doyle and Campbell both posted a 9-1 record.  Phil Rogers booked the other victory.

Doyle and Campbell also paced the attack in the State Tournament as Caverna scored nine runs in the three games.  Doyle scored three of them and drove in another.  Campbell scored twice and drove in two runs.

In his two route going tournament victories, Doyle gave up just one run, three hits, fanned 26 and walked six.  In his seven inning victory over Lafayette, Campbell was reached for two runs and one hit, fanned six and walked seven.

* * *

For the entire season, Doyle pitched 60 innings gave up 11 runs (1.28 per game) and 11 hits, struck out 101 and walked 33.  Campbell hurled 65 innings, was reached for 29 runs (3.12 per game) and 19 hits, fanned 104 and walked 52.

Each tossed two no hitters this season.

Caverna wrapped up the semifinal victory over Lafayette with four unearned runs in the first inning.

Moore walked and reached third when Phil Rogers was safe on an error. Moore scored on another error.  Doyle’s single enrolled Rogers.  Campbell and Terry Branstetter walked and Doyle and Campbell scored when Clifton Logsdon’s smash to third base got away from the fielder who was charged with an error.

Lafayette got both its runs off Campbell in the fifth on a hit batter, Kenny Allen’s single (the losers’ only hit), Campbell’s throwing error and a sacrifice fly.

Caverna got an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Doyle walked, moved up on a sacrifice and fielder’s choice and scampered home on Logsdon’s looping single to left-center.

CAVERNA            AB          R             H             rbi

Moore 2b             4              0              0              0
Lindsey cf            4              0              0              0
Rogers 1b            3              0              0              0
Doyle p                 0              1              0              0
Campbell ss        2              0              1              1
Branstetter lf     3              0              0              0
Logsdon c           2              0              0              0
Grider rf              2              0              0              0
Toohey 3b         2              0              1              0

Totals                                22           1              2              1

Waggener          AB          R             H             rbi

Spangler 1b        2              0              0              0
Lapsley rf            3              0              0              0
Riley cf                 2             0              0              0
Patrick ss            3              0              1              0
Martin c               2              0              0              0
Porter 2b             3              0              0              0
Ryan lf                 2              0              0              0
Davis 1b               2              0              0              0
Lewis p                2              0              0              0
Totals                                21           0              1              0

Caverna              000 100 0 – 1
Waggener          000 000 0 – 0

Error – Toohey.  Triple Play – Lindsey to Toohey to Moore.
LOB – Caverna 6, Waggener 2.
3BH – Campbell, SB – Riley, Moore

Pitcher                  IP            R             H             SO          BB

Doyle                        7              0              1              11             3
Lewis                       7              1               2               7              5

—  *

The semifinal line scores:

Caverna                400  100  1 – 5   4  2
Lafayette             000 020 0 – 2   1  4

Campbell and Logsdon.  Cheatham and Foster.

N. Catholic         000 000 1 – 1  4  2
Waggener          000 200 x – 2  6  0

Borcher and Bacigalupo. Thompson and Martin.

———————————————–

At the top of the page in the center two columns is the bi-weekly sports commentary written by sports editor Bert Borrone.  Four years previously at a Caverna Junior High sports banquet at Cave City, Borrone had been the guest speaker.  Many of the same players that would play a role as seniors in a state-wide state championship four years later were there as eighth graders.  Following the meal in the school cafeteria in the basement, the attendees moved to the school auditorium on the main level.  It was there that Borrone made his speech.  He had done his homework.  He recounted how the junior high football team had gone undefeated the past two years, first under the tutelage of Aaron Turner and then under Roy Dickey Reynolds who was junior high principal and coach.  He recalled the success of the junior high basketball team that had gone 14-3 each of the last two seasons.  He acknowledged the past success, but challenged that it be continued in the future in the tradition that had been Caverna High School.  High School state championships in six-man football, trips to the sweet sixteen in basketball, the most recent in 1953 when the team finished third after winning the consolation game.  I doubt that baseball was even mentioned as it was not a junior high sport.  I feel certain he also challenged us to excel academically.  I think it was then that dreams began to crystallize, that goals were formed.

 

 

It says here. _

BY

Bert Borrone

DAILY NEWS SPORTS EDITOR

Caverna’s Chain Reaction Of Championships Stems From An Incredible Victory 4 Years Ago

Well, sir, I am back in business as a swami.

Thanks to Caverna High’s Colonels.

After reviewing the almost unbelievable record coach Ralph Dorsey and his seniors have compiled in the last three years in a column during late March, it was observed:  “They’ll be wrapping up their careers in baseball this spring and they very well could add a state championship in that sport to the two eight-man football championships they have won.”

Didn’t they? (Applause)

I submit that Dennis Doyle, Joe Campbell, Phil Rogers, David Moore, Jim Grider and the rest have written a record which, for versatility, does not have a superior in all the history of Kentucky school-boy athletics.  I can’t recall one which equals it.

Consider:

In eight-man football, they won their last 20 games.  They captured a playoff for the state championship in 1959 and had the best claim last season, when no playoff was held.  Doyle passed, ran, and quarterbacked; Rogers scored a record 258 points last season; Moore and Grider were also stars.

The basketball record their last two seasons was 49 victories and 9 defeats.  Doyle and Rogers were starters both years.  Campbell, Moore and Phil Borden, who doubles as conference tennis champion, joined them in the starting array last winter.

Their three year record in baseball now is 54 victories and 7 defeats.  In succession they were quarterfinalists, semifinalists and champions of the State Tournament.  Doyle, Rogers, Campbell and Moore have been starters for three seasons.

They might have compiled that record regardless of what happened.  But I suspect an incident in their freshmen triggered the chain reaction of championships.

Doyle and Rogers were baseball starters then, too, and maybe Moore was also.  At any rate, they were playing Glasgow, led by now professional pitcher Doug Proffitt, in the regional tournament here.  With two out and nobody on in the last inning, Glasgow led 13-5 and there was absolutely no possible way Glasgow could lose.

But, by George, Glasgow did!  Just one pitch away from extinction, Dorsey’s boys put together six hits, three walks, and a Glasgow error to tie the game.  Then they won the game, 14-13, in the eighth inning.

The winning pitcher?  Doyle.  Who else?

* * *

“This more than makes up for a couple of disappointments in the past,” Said Dorsey. Whose combined basketball-baseball winning percentage in Caverna’s 12-year history is way over .700.

The member of Indiana University’s 1940 NCAA basketball championship team was referring to a last second loss to Paducah in the semifinals of the State Basketball Tournament and a defeat at Owensboro’s hands in the semifinals of the State Baseball tournament last season.

Area fans can look forward to seeing a lot more of the Caverna stars this summer.  Several of them are due to join the local American Legion Junior baseball team.

“It’ll be a few days before they report, I guess,” said Dorsey.  “We’ve all got to unwind a little.  And I guess the boys are looking forward to a few days’ rest.”

With Doyle, Campbell, Rogers et al. plus city and county stars and boys from Edmonson County, Legion skipper Jim Richards is eyeing a state championship also.

Bowling Green won the Legion’s title twice in the early 1950s, with Edmonson Countians lending a big helping hand.

Dorsey said he does not believe any of his players will enter professional baseball immediately.  Practically all of them eye a college education.

* * *

32 YEARS – The State Championship yesterday was about as dramatic as the one which last sent the title to Southern Kentucky 32 years ago.

That one also was a 1-0 duel, with Bowling Green trimming Cadiz at the Old Fairground here in the 1929 climactic game.  It went 16 innings.

John Lane, now principal of Edmonson County High, pitched the route.  Red Garrison singled hoe Stanly Graves with the winning run.

* * *

RETURNING – Four of the Caverna starters return for another season – Don Lindsey, who started the game-ending triple play fro center field, left fielder Terry Branstetter, catcher Clifton Logsdon and third-baseman Barry Toohey.

Logsdon had a real good tournament.

“Only one stolen base off him in the three games at Lexington,” observed Dorsey.

Logsdon also was the boy most on the spot all season.  Catching was the one suspect position in April.  It was one of the strongest in June.

 

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