For one inning Wednesday night in the championship in the Class 1 District 10 Tournament at St. Elizabeth, the Pilot Grove Tigers baseball team reigned as champions while leading the Wildcats 1-0.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, that was their only run while St. Elizabeth had runners cross the plate in four out of the six innings en route to a 11-1 victory in six innings,
The Wildcats, 14-4 on the season, will play Northwest of Hughesville in Hughesville on Monday, May 20th in a Class 1 sectional game.
“I know the score ended up lopsided, but it was closer than it ended up being,” said Pilot Grove coach Evan Oswald. “We battled all game, just came up short. St Elizabeth is a very good hitting team and they showed that throughout. We had a couple of opportunities to get back into the game, we just couldn’t find that key hit to get the momentum back on our side. The kids have nothing to hang their heads about. They played until the final out and I’m extremely proud of them. This one is going to hurt for awhile, but it should make the kids that much hungrier going into the next season. We will be back next year and we will give it another good run.”
The Tigers were more than willing to make a run in the first inning after a lead off double to right center by Bailey Quint and back to back singles by Cole Meisenheimer and Bo Vinson to make it 1-0.
However it was pretty much all St. Elizabeth after that as the Tigers plated two runs in the bottom half of the second on a lead off walk, double to right by Carson Kesel and a two-RBI single to right by Kendal Bax to go up 2-1.
The Wildcats never trailed after that while adding three more runs in the third on two hits, two walks (one intentional) to extend the lead to 5-1. Also in the second, the Tigers were on the wrong end of a call from the third base umpire, who ruled that second baseman Hayden Krumm had missed the bag on a double-play attempt. That was huge because instead of being one out in the inning, St. Elizabeth scored one run on that play and added two more later in the inning on a two-RBI single to left by Bax.
A two-run deficit would have also given Pilot Grove a chance after loading the bases in the top half of the fourth after two St. Elizabeth errors and a single to center by Dade Christy. But that ended after St. Elizabeth pitcher Aaron Blomberg got sophomore Bailey Quint on a fly out to first to end the inning.
The Tigers gave up two more runs in the fourth after issuing two walks, a hit batter and a two-RBI single to left by Carson Kesel to push the lead to 7-1.
Then, after both teams failed to score a run in the fifth, St. Elizabeth came back and plated four more runs in the sixth on five hits-four in a row-and one walk to end the game due to the run rule.
Blomberg picked up the win for St. Elizabeth while Bailey Quint took the loss for Pilot Grove, who finished the season at 13-6. In six innings, Blomberg struck out nine batters and gave up one run on five hits. Quint, meanwhile, pitched the first-five innings and allowed seven runs on four hits and five walks while striking out seven batters. The loss dropped Quint to 2-5 on the season. Luke Kollmeyer then came in and pitched 2/3 inning in relief and yielded four runs on five hits and one walk.
Carson Kesel finished the game with three hits to lead St. Elizabeth, one being a double. Kesel also drove in three runs.
Aaron Blomberg finished the game with one single and one double while Kendal Bax added one single and two RBIs, Dylan Wobbe one single and one RBI, Coltin Green and Ross Struemph each with one single and Hayden Irwin and Brady Heckemeyer each with one RBI.
For Pilot Grove, Bailey Quint doubled while Bo Vinson added one single and one RBI. Hayden Krumm, Cole Meisenheimer and Dade Christy also singled in the game.