Thursday, June 9, 1961
Caverna Edges Waggener 1-0
For State High School Title
In the early morning in the hallway of an upper floor of the Phoenix Hotel in downtown Lexington, Kentucky there was a gathering of the Caverna baseball team to hear a few final words from Coach Ralph Dorsey before traveling to the University of Kentucky campus to take on Lexington Lafayette. And then Coach Dorsey prayed… Not for victory, but a prayer of thanksgiving for the journey that had brought them all to this point. Then…
In the semifinals, Caverna avenged their 1959 state tourney conqueror, Lexington Lafayette by winning 5-2 on Campbell’s one-hitter to move into the final against Jefferson County’s Waggener High School whose starting pitcher Ken Lewis had been spectacular. Caverna, who had held their graduation the week before, graduated 40 seniors. Waggener, in suburban Louisville, had over 2000 students.
After a scoreless first three innings, Doyle walked in the fourth inning and scored the game’s first run on Campbell’s booming 425-foot triple to left.
The score remained 1-0 until the seventh and final inning. Doyle started the inning with a no-hitter in progress and only needed three outs to record the state championship for Caverna. However he would be facing the heart of the order with Waggener’s 4th, 5th, and 6th place batters coming to the plate. Clean-up man Patrick ended the no-hitter.
From the story in the Park City Daily News the next day:
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, “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.
I can still see the play as clearly today as I did almost fifty years ago. The ball was fairly deep to left-center field. Lindsey circled back and under the ball as he was moving toward third base, making the catch and relaying a throw toward third. Toohey was hollering at the cut-off man, shortstop Joe Campbell, to let the throw come through. Robust home-plate umpire Carroll Elliot, looking splendid in blue, who also doubled as a state police dispatcher, was hustling up the third base line and calling the batter out on the fly ball. It was a perfect one-hop throw to the inside of the bag and Toohey applied the tag as Joe Campbell and everyone else was hollering to Toohey, “Second, throw it to second base.” “Out”, again was shouted and signaled by umpire Elliot. Toohey’s throw was almost as good as Lindsey’s, as Moore made the catch and applied the tag on a close play that Waggener players, coaches, and fans to this day claim was the wrong call. Nevertheless, base umpire C.M. Newton, then the basketball coach at Transylvania College and later to be the athletic director at the University of Kentucky made the call; “OUT!!!”
It took a moment for the play to register to everyone on the bench, including me, but once it did everyone cleared the bench and charged the field…that Lindsey, Toohey and Moore were not injured in the resulting pile-on was in itself a small miracle.
Final score: Caverna 1 Waggener 0.
The Rest of the Story: