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8th Region Baseball Tournament semifinals: Weather, Titans can’t stop Pioneers

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Delay pushes last 2 innings to Wednesday, but Collins can’t pull of a lightning rally

By Todd Martin

After a 19-hour delay, it looked Wednesday like the Collins High School baseball team might have picked up Roy Hobbs lightning emblazoned Wonderboy bat from the movie “The Natural.”

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After lightning chased the teams from the field in the 8th Region Tournament at Henry County Tuesday, the Titans came out swinging in to the top of the sixth inning Wednesday trailing Simon Kenton 5-1.

Senior Zach Wiley roped a shot to fence in center for a double and moved to third on Mason Jeffries’ single.

Wiley then scored on a wild pitch and Jeffries advanced to third during the play at home. He then scored on Will McDonald’s single to right.

Those two runs pulled the Titans to within 5-3, but the Pioneers were able to hold get out of the sixth.

Then in top of the seventh, it looked like Wiley might have a chance to be the hero. With two-outs and Farris on first, the senior leader came up with a chance to tie the game, but a grounder to short ended the game with a very close play at first.

The win put Simon Kenton in the finals Thursday’s against Anderson County. The Bearcats topped Carroll County 5-1 on Tuesday.

The Titans struggled through the first six innings Tuesday against Simon Kenton’s Sean Lawrence.

After a Chris Crotzer single scored Mason Jeffries in the top of the second, Lawrence retired nine of the next 10 Collins batters allowing only a double to Dre Farris in top of the fourth.

“He was pretty good [Tuesday],” Collins Coach Roy Bailey said. “It was just one of those nights where we didn’t hit and then we had a couple of errors. They were just better than us on Tuesday.

“This was a tough one. We told them after the game, that they play the game right way and that’s all we can ask.”

Bailey said he was impressed with the way his team bounced back and came out alive and swinging to start the sixth.

“We wanted to come out and be aggressive and put some pressure on them, and that’s exactly what we did,” he said.

But the lead Simon Kenton built on Tuesday was just too much.

The Pioneers picked up two runs in the bottom of the first when a lead off walk was followed by sac fly and a fielder’s choice that scored two runs.

Simon Kenton scored again in the bottom of the second off an error and added two more in the fourth when a bases-loaded wild pitch scored one and a fielder’s choice brought in another.

But despite the loss, Bailey noted that his team has nothing to hang its head over.

“We probably would have been number 1 [in the state] going into the tournament, if another poll had come out,” he said. “That hasn’t happened around her in along time. I couldn’t be more pleased with these guys. To go twenty-eight and four this year, and know we had a chance to win every game, that’s pretty special.”

After meeting with the coaches after the game the team was very emotional. With several seniors moving on, the last game was tough to handle and Bailey said that shows how close these guys are.

“We try to build a family atmosphere, and these guys are all like family, it’s tough to handle,” he said. “They all put each other before the team, and that’s something we’re proud of.”

 

 

 

Collins            010 002 0 – 3 7 2

Simon Kenton   210 200 X – 5 7 1

W – Lawrence. L – Miller. 2B – Farris, McDonald, Wiley (C). Records – Collins 28-, Simon Kenton 21-16.