Carson Newell of North Union pops up a hit in the infield during a sectional finals game against Columbus Academy. The Wildcats lost the contest 8-3 to end their season.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
The sixth-seeded Wildcats of North Union had great expectations going into the Division III baseball tournament season.
The group of 10 seniors had high hopes of making a run deep in this year’s post season after making a solid push for a conference title with a 17-6 record.
Those hopes were dashed, though, with Thursday’s 8-3 loss to No. 10 Columbus Academy.
Despite the loss, North Union head coach Klarke Ransome was encouraged.
“I think that is where we want to be,” he said. “I’m not going to coach to have low expectations. I want the expectations to be high.
“I want to go into tournaments expecting to win and I think that is why you do it, but it obviously stings when you have 10 seniors.”
Kase Orahood was on the mound to start the game for the Wildcats and was able to keep the ball in the strike zone.
The Vikings, however, met the ball to put it in play.
Their solid contact hitting led to an early 1-0 lead.
The Cats answered with an early base runner in Trevyn Feasel on a base on balls and Joel Krebehenne, who was hit by a pitch.
Feasel advanced on a ground ball that turned into a double play for the Vikings, but he was able to plate the Cats first run on a passed ball.
The Vikings figured out Orahood in the second inning as the hits just kept on coming.
They worked the left side of the field, finding holes between shortstop and third base.
CA plated four runs to take a 5-1 lead in the seconding inning.
Ransome said the scoreboard may not have shown it, but his Cats played a solid ball game.
“I thought we threw it better than what the scoreboard shows,” he said. “I thought a couple of things went their way.
“They found some holes and I thought we hit it really well, but we just hit it right at them a lot of the time.
“It is unfortunate, but that is how baseball is.”
North Union scored a run in the bottom of the fourth inning to start chipping away at the deficit.
The Vikings responded with two runs in the top of the fifth to keep the lead climbing in their favor.
“It seemed like every time we would come in and score a run or two, they would come back and put another one on the board,” Ransome said. “I knew they were going to be talented and that they were a good hitting baseball team.
They found some holes tonight.”
North Union scored its final run when Krebehenne hit a ball to the left-center gap for an RBI.
Academy pulled out one more run in the top to the seventh for the final margin.
Ransome said he is proud of the effort his team put into the contest.
“To see them play as well as they did and not come away with a win makes it extremely difficult,” he said. “I have a great deal of respect for all the seniors in there.
“They are tremendous group, they’re a great ball club, they’re great kids to be around and I’m going to miss them.”
The Wildcats finished their season with a 17-7 record.
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