2023 Tigers Leave Marks on Caldwell Baseball Record Book


The 2023 Caldwell County baseball team left its mark in the Tiger Record Book, despite a first round loss to Henderson County in the 2nd Region tournament.

The Tigers went 19-12 this season, including the biggest comeback win in school history.

On April 13, Caldwell County trailed Crittenden County 11-2 going to the seventh inning in the 2nd Region All A Classic championship game in Smithland.

However, the Tigers mounted a rally for the ages.

Caldwell sent 20 batters to the plate in the top of the seventh inning and scored an unbelievable 14 runs to rally past the Rockets.

Eighth grader Ari Wells homered twice in the decisive inning — a three-run blast to right field in his first at-bat then a grand slam to right later in the inning — to help Caldwell capture an improbable 16-12 win.

Ari Wells

The nine-run deficit is the largest ever overcome by a Tiger baseball team.

Caldwell overcame an eight-run deficit in 1987 to defeat Madisonville-North Hopkins 15-14.

The 2023 season also saw the Tigers score their most runs ever in a single game.

A doubleheader sweep against Dawson Springs on May 5 included a 26-1 triumph.

The 26 runs in the four-inning contest are the most Caldwell has ever scored in a game. That tops a 25-0 victory over Dawson Springs in 2010.

Caldwell’s 19 base hits in the 26-1 win were one shy of the school record.

The lopsided victory included a 14-run fourth inning.

It was just the fourth time in school history the Tigers scored at least 14 runs in an inning — but the second time in 2023 after the big comeback win over Crittenden.

The school record of 18 runs in one inning was established in the first inning of the Tigers’ 25-0 win over Dawson in 2010.

Carter Whittington

Caldwell had opened the season with a 24-4 win at Livingston Central. That’s the third-highest run total in a single game.

As a team, Caldwell scored 269 runs this year, which is the sixth most in a season. The 2016 team holds the record with 306 runs.

Individually, Wells set a program record for runs batted in by driving in 45 during the 2023 season.

That breaks the old mark of 42 set by Daniel Kukahiko in 2001.

Brady Holeman is seventh on the single-season RBI list after driving in 34 runs this season.

Wells’ six triples tied for second all-time and is just one behind the record established by Kelly Davis in 1998.

Carter Whittington stole 20 bases in 21 attempts this season. That ties for second-most steals in a season. Dono McGregor’s 27 steals in 1992 is the record.

Ben Goodaker

On the mound, senior Ben Goodaker became just the third Tiger to record 20 career pitching wins, finishing his high school career at 20-8. Only Shane Burns (31-8, 2014-18) and Gabe East (24-4, 2015-19) have more pitching victories at Caldwell.

Goodaker is also just the third Tiger to win as many as eight games in a single season, going 8-4. Burns was 11-1 in 2016 and 8-2 in 2017 while Joe Villines went 8-1 in 1974.

Caldwell’s season ended with a 4-1 setback to Henderson in the regional tournament. Henderson is still playing — the Colonels will face Whitley County in the state semifinals on Friday in Lexington.

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