by Gary Andrews
The Southwood baseball team used a 5 run third inning to grab a 5-2 lead over Elwood Saturday in their first game of the regional, only to give up 5 runs the last two innings in a 7-5 loss at Wabash.
Southwood starter Clay Hinrichsen was dominate the first two innings, striking out 5 of the 6 hitters he faced, with the Knights putting three runners on base with Jackson Blair being hit by a pitch, Robbie Cole reaching on a fielders choice and Brandin Frazier drawing a walk. The Knights couldn’t plate a run and the game was scoreless heading to the third.
Elwood would get to Hinrichsen in the third. With a runner on first and two outs the Panthers hit three straight singles to grab a 2-0 lead. The Knights would respond in the bottom of the inning with 5 runs, which would end up being the only inning they scored in. With one out Jackson Blair drew a walk. After a pop out Robbie Cole roped a triple down the right field line to score Blair and make it 2-1. Christian Deeter followed with a single to tie the game, but the Knights were not done. Jacob Lloyd then singled to put runners on first and second when Brandin Frazier hit a 2rbi double to grab a 4-2 lead. John Collins then scored on an Elwood error and the Knights led 5-2.
The Knights looked like they were going to add to their lead in the fourth when Zach Ball dropped a bunt for a single and advanced to second on the bad throw. Jackson Blair then singled to put runners on the corners when Nathan Hollars was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. The Knights would then hit a short fly out that couldn’t advance a runner, then had a strike out and a ground out to go score less in the inning.
Jon Collins drew a one out walk in the bottom of the fifth, then took second on a bad pick off throw, but again the Knight offense stalled.
Elwood would score 2 runs in the top of the sixth on two hits, a walk and a passed ball to draw within one at 5-4, when again it looked as though the Knights would score. Jackson Blair led off the inning with a single, followed by Nathan Hollars dropping a bunt and reaching on an error. Robbie Cole would fly out with Blair advancing to third and the Knights had runners on the corners with one out. One more time the offense couldn’t come through, but still led 5-4 with one inning to go.
Things would fall apart for the Knights in the top of the seventh when Hinrichsen hit the first batter. The second batter put down a sac bunt with the Knights getting the out at first, but the runner going to second kept going with an over throw at third and scoring to tie the game at 5. Hinrichsen would strike out the next batter for two outs before an Elwood triple. The Knights went to Brennan Kelly who was greeted by an rbi single as Elwood led 6-5. A balk was then called on Kelly, advancing the runner to second with the next batter singling to drive in a run to make it 7-5. Kelly would get out of the inning with a strike out, as the Knights had three outs left to get two runs. Just like that a line drive out, a strike out and a fly out and Southwood had been eliminated 7-5.
The Knights finished the season 20-8 and were sectional champions.