TIGERS STAND UP TO THE HEAT BUT FALL TO C-VILLE IN SECTIONAL SEMI’S
On one of the hottest days they’d ever played, LHS fell to Crawfordsville 6 to 4 Memorial Day afternoon on the Athenian’s home field. And they had to play three extra innings to boot. With temperatures nearing the mid-90’s, Freshman Garrett Harker took the mound to lead the Tigers into the Sectional final against North Montgomery. Crawfordsville starter Junior Jake Decker and his teammates had other ideas though as they jumped out to a 4-run lead after two innings.
Senior Ben Johnson would come on in relief of Harker to hold C-ville at bay until the bottom of the 5th inning (LHS was the home team) when the Tigers got to Decker for four runs to tie the game. Sophomore Michael Reese’s single driving in two was the big blow for Lebanon in the rally.
The score would remain tied until the 10th when C-ville loaded the bases with no outs against Senior Haydn Parker who had relieved Johnson in the 8th . After a force out at the plate, the Athenians plated two on a Tiger error. LHS would strand two in the bottom of the inning for the loss.
Cam Saunders, who had come on to start the 9th for the Athenians was the winner. He went the two innings giving up no runs on 1 hit and a pair of walks. He struck out 2. Decker went the other eight innings, allowing the four runs (three earned) on 9 hits and 4 walks. He fanned six Tigers. Harker who ended up taking the mound again in the 10th, went three and two-thirds. He surrendered four runs (three earned) on 7 hits, 3 walks, and a hit batter while striking out six. Johnson pitched four outstanding inning allowing no runs on just 1 hit, a pair of walks, a hit batter with three strikeouots. Parker took the loss going two and a third, giving up the two unearned runs on 2 hits, a walk, and a hit batsman. He fanned one.
At the plate, besides Reese with his two RBI, Junior Ryan Nastav had three hits on the afternoon. Johnson and fellow Senior Nick Dafoe each had a pair of singles. Although they outslugged Crawfordsville on the day, Lebanon just could not come through with the clutch hit that would have won the game.
The loss dropped the Tigers to 13 and 15 on the year, a huge improvement over what they did in the 2017 season. Underclassmen Harker, Nastav, Reese, Drew Cosgray, and Jarret French will form the nucleus of next year’s team. Seniors Tyler Welborn, Parker, Johnson, Kobe Burtron, Dafoe, and Nick Bland walked off the field disappointed but with fond memories of their time spent on the diamond wearing their black and gold.