A red-hot start wasn’t enough.
Despite leading by four runs after one inning, Brownstown Central’s baseball fell 9-6 to North Harrison in the Sectional 30 semifinals at Silver Creek High School on Friday.
[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]Click here to purchase photos from this gallery
In the first inning, the Braves loaded the bases on a walk, Jalen Tiemeyer single and bunt from Stuart Hayden. On the second pitch, with the next at-bat, Braves senior Ian Martin slammed a grand slam over the center field fence to put BC up 4-0.
Following a scoreless second inning, the Cougars got on the scoreboard with an RBI single from Jake Harley.
The wheels fell off for the Braves (15-13) in the fourth inning.
Following a leadoff double, Jake Book drove in a run with a double to cut the Cougars’ deficit to two. Max Flock then hit an RBI single to bring the score to 4-3.
Brownstown Central pitcher Mattew Bell was then substituted for Issac Horton. The first batter against Horton hit an RBI single to tie the game. After a groundout and walk, Horton was substituted for Seth Borden.
Borden walked his first at-bat before hitting batter with a pitch, giving the Cougars a 5-4 advantage.
After a sacrifice fly put the Cougars up by two runs, Borden tossed a strikeouts to stop the bleeding.
“The inning they scored five runs, we had a fly ball that should of been caught and that just changed the momentum of the inning,” Braves coach Brandon Tormoehlen said. “North Harrison plays with a lot of energy. The goal going into it was to get Matt Bell one or two times through the lineup. It was about one and one-half when they started getting good swings on him.
We went to Horton and he had an off night. We went to Borden and he had an off night. We just didn’t throw enough strikes and it hurt us.”
In the bottom of the fourth, Borden singled to score Clayton Barger, bringing the score to 6-5.
Borden started the top of the fifth inning with a walk before Flock hit a two-run homer to center field and put the Couagars up 8-5.
Isaiah Wineinger then came in for Borden. Wineinger pitched the final three innings.
A groundout by the Cougars gave them a 9-5 lead going into the bottom of the fifth.
Matthew Garland helped keep the Braves’ hopes alive with an RBI single to score Hayden in the bottom of the fifth.
While they had a chance, a Brownstown wasn’t able to rally.
Neither team scored the rest of the way, as the Cougars punched a ticket to the Monday night’s championship game.
Horton took the loss on the mound and Justin Deatrick got the win, working five innings, for the Cougars. Ben Davis was credited with the save.
The Braves were outhit 9-8 in the game and had three errors to the Cougars’ one mishap.
“We hit some balls hard, but we hit them right at them,” Tormoehlen said.
The Braves will graduate Gus Hogan, Hayden and Martin from the program and return 14 players from its sectional roster in 2019.
“Any time a new coach takes over, and implements his ways, there’s always that ‘how is the team going to buy in,’” Tormoehlen said. “These seniors meant everything. They played three years for another type of program and came in and bought in from day one. They’re the hardest working three guys I know.”