By BLAKE FAITH
The Mt. Zion baseball team lost its final regular season game against Champaign Centennial 9-8.
The Braves started the first inning with two pies and then Jackson Beiler was walked. Robert Chausse then hit a one-rbi double to the left-field gap to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
Drew Hittmeier, Aiden Page and Carter Thornton all three were walked that led to Chausse scoring to make the lead 2-0. . Evan Hamrick stepped up to the plate and knocked a two-out two-rbi single to the right-field gap to give the Braves a 4-0 lead.
Centennial came back in the second with a run and scored six in the fourth inning to take a 7-5 lead.
The Braves responded in the bottom of the fourth. Evan Hamrick, Sam Driscoll and Toney Alford were issued walks to make the bases loaded. Jackson Beiler sent a ball to the Centennial shortstop that committed an error. That error brought in two runs for the Braves. Next play up
Chausse hits a ball to the second baseman that results in an error and a run scored to give the Braves an 8-7 lead.
Centennial receded two runs in the sixth inning to regain a 9-8 lead. The Braves didn’t score in the sixth and ended the seventh when Alford caught a line drive and flipped it to the shortstop Beiler for a double-play.
The Braves didn’t go out without a fight. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Drew Hittmeier hit a ball to the right-field gap. Ethan Hamrick stepped up next to the plate and got a single to the right-field gap.
There’s one out and the next batter for the Braves hit an outfield fly-out. Hittmeier tags and reaches third safely off a bad outfielder throw. The ball hits the fence and Hittmeier takes off for home. The Centennial third baseman finds the ball and fires it to the catcher for the tag and final out to give Centennial a 9-8 win.
“Well, it shouldn’t shouldn’t have boiled down to that,” Head coach J.D. Arnold said. “We put ourselves in a bind going into the seventh inning and we had a hole we had to dig out of. The reason was because we didn’t make enough plays and we didn’t swing the bat well enough.”
The Braves finish their regular season 8-17. The Braves will face Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin today in a regional semifinal at Mt. Zion. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m.