BEAVERCREEK — A different Springfield team from the regular season showed up to Beavercreek for a sectional tournament opener.
Grinding out runs inning after inning, Beavercreek wasn’t able to keep up its ability to answer in its final time up to the plate during a season ending 6-5 defeat at home.
The teams entered the seventh tied at five and Zach Schrodi struck out the first two hitters during his third full inning in relief. A soft single was followed by a error on a ground ball to extend the frame. After a hit by pitch, Springfield’s star of the game, Mitchell Sin, battled at the plate by fouling off several 3-2 pitches before drawing a walk which brought home the winning run.
“He’s really come on,” Springfield head coach Brandon Weems said of Sin, who had four RBI and scored on an infield grounder from second base. “It’s really something, just seeing the ball really well and as long as he continues to do that, he’ll set the tone for our offense as a leadoff hitter.”
After having tied the game twice in the fifth and sixth innings, the Beavers got a two-out double to set themselves up for a final gasp of resiliency before a shallow fly to center ended the season.
“Pitchers threw well but we didn’t make plays behind them,” Beavercreek head coach Brandon Long said. “It came down to more than one play and they did fight back.”
Beavercreek as the 9-seed got to host No. 15 Springfield and had defeated the Wildcats twice in the season, but fell behind early in the third matchup.
Sin had a two-RBI double in the second, and drove home another in the fourth to extend his team’s lead to 4-1.
Brayden King grounded home a run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to one, and CJ Barnes did the same in the fifth to tie the score.
Springfield’s Christian McMillan came up in the sixth and battled back from a 0-2 count to hit a soft bouncer up the middle which saw Sin alertly go for the plate from second after stealing the bag earlier in the plate appearance.
Sean McCray continued to help Beavercreek claw its way into a tie score by turning the tables with a two-out liner to score Parker Shannon. However, they ran out of time in the seventh.
“That’s a different team than we saw earlier,” Long said. “They hadn’t seen any of our guys who are one or two, so I felt pretty good going in, but it’s hard to beat a team three times.”
Springfield advances to face Springboro.
Beavercreek fought back from a 3-7 start to the season to have won seven of eight heading into the postseason. The team was primarily made up of first-year varsity players and Long said while it’s good looking forward, he was happy with the work his team put in this year.
“These are mostly young guys in freshman and sophomore,” he said. “A great group of seniors, mostly getting their first year of varsity experience. I think they battled together, were good kids that show up every day and work hard and that’s all you can ask for.”
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.