ECHS baseball suffers sweep to end seasonPublished 5:00am Thursday, April 17, 2014
The Elmore County varsity baseball season came to an end Saturday much like the rest of the year played out.
Leading in two games in final series with area rival Holtville, the Panthers dropped all three contests to finish 2014 at 9-17 overall and fourth in Class 4A, Area 6 at 3-9.
In a position to play spoiler for Holtville’s playoff dreams, Elmore County coughed up a four-run lead in the first game of the series at home and a three-run lead in the bottom of the seventh inning at Holtville. The two results marked the sixth and seventh games this year that the Panthers led, but lost.
After scoring four runs the first to take a 4-0 advantage at home versus the Bulldogs, Elmore County mustered only two more runs in the remaining six frames to lose 11-6 Friday.
The Panthers led on two separate occasions in the win-or-go-home game for Holtville Saturday. They struck again in the first innings, plating a run to grab an early 1-0 lead.
HHS gained the lead in the bottom of the second at 4-1, highlighted by Brandon Dunn’s two-run double. The next frame, ECHS answered with senior Austin Adams, Hunter Fulmer and Aaron Kimberly all batting in runs to tie the game at 4. Centerfielder Coy Holley retook the lead for the Panthers, capping of the five-run innings with a two-run hit to put ECHS up 6-4.
Michael Wayne Walls added another run for ECHS, his second of the contest, in the fourth off Jordan Lowe’s RBI single, giving Elmore County a 7-4 lead.
Up 8-5 entering the home half of the seventh, ECHS reliever Justin Weeks stood to upend their rival’s postseason hopes. But after giving up three hits in four batters, the lead shrank to 8-6.
Head coach Wendell Jackson then pulled Weeks for Brady Knight before a botched double play ball allowed the Bulldogs to load the bases with one out.
With the infield in, Holtville’s lone senior Auston Owens–on Senior Day–hit a sharp ground ball to the gap between first and second base that bounced off Josh Wilson’s glove. As two runs came in to tie the game, a ill-advised throw to third from right field ended up in the Elmore County dugout that let the game-winning 9-8 run to come home for HHS.
ECHS lost the final game of the series 13-7.