The phrase “game of inches” is most commonly used with football, but on Friday night at American Legion Field, it was the perfect way to sum up Seymour’s Hoosier Hills Conference championship game against Floyd Central.
For awhile, neither team would give an inch as the game went to 12 innings, but eventually in the bottom of the 12th, the Owls found a way.
Vince Wilson started the inning off with an infield single, he moved to second on a wild pitch, and then with two outs, Skyler Cockerham hit a rocket up the middle to up walk it off for Seymour, giving the Owls not only a 3-2 victory, but also a Hoosier Hills Conference championship.
It was a game that lasted just three minutes short of four hours long, and it was the home team that came out on top.
The game was nip and tuck from the start. Both teams had runners in scoring position in the second inning, but neither team could capitalize. For Owls, it was from Treyton McCormick getting a walk, and then Aiden Darlage getting the team’s first hit of the game and having runners at the corners with two outs.
Floyd struck first in the third inning as a ball was hit hard to left field and landed fair in the corner. Skyler Cockerham then made a great diving play at third base to get the out and end the inning to keep the damage at 1-0.
The Owls answered right back. Bret Perry got an infield single, and then Jack VonDielingen bunted and was safe. Perry and VonDielingen then did a double steal, and the throw to second base to try to get VonDielingen out was wild, and it allowed Perry to come home and tie the game 1-1.
In the top of the fifth, Perry had a tough throw to make from shortstop to first base for the final out, and it took a bad hop over Darlage’s head, and the error allowed the Highlanders to score and take a 2-1 lead.
Seymour threatened to answer once again in the bottom of the fifth after VonDielingen singled and Wilson was hit by a pitch.
With runners on first and second and two outs, Gavin Leavy just got under a fastball for a flyout to end the inning.
Wright went the distance on the mound, having 90-plus pitches, allowing just one earned run, striking out five batters and keeping the Highlanders at a 2-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the seventh, Pennington walked, and VonDielingen singled to advance Pennington to third. Then Wilson battled at the plate, fouling off countless pitches, and it eventually led to a wild pitch that scored Pennington and tied the game 2-2 to force extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Floyd had a runner at third base, and a wild pitch ricocheted off the backstop, and Wilson was able to snag it and tag the runner out at home.
Big defensive plays were made like that all night long for Seymour, and Leavy came up big with key strikeouts in extras.
With the win, Seymour is now 18-4 on the season and will next play at Henryville on Monday.