One inning changed the season for the Nation Ford Falcons as the TL Hanna Yellow Jackets scored their only two runs in the sixth inning to eliminate the Falcons from the 5A state baseball playoffs with a 2-1 win.
Having given up just two hits in the game thus far, TL Hanna got three hits to lead off the top of the sixth inning and a Nation Ford error led to the two runs for the Yellow Jackets.
“Our guys showed a lot of guts and heart,” said Falcons’ head coach Stas Swerdzewski. “It was a great run for our seniors. It is going to be hard to replace them.”
A pitching duel from both starting pitchers, both Nation Ford (13-16) and TL Hanna combined for 10 hits in the game, five hits each. The Yellow Jackets got all five of their hits in just two innings.
“They are a talented squad,” Swerdzewski said. “We battled against their starter; he just was able to shut us down.”
TL Hanna starter Daniel Hart pitched a complete game allowing five hits, and no more than one per inning. He struck out five and walked just one Falcons batter. His peer in Nation Ford’s Evan Lammers went the distance as well, allowing five hits and two runs, while walking none and striking out four.
“It was a pitchers’ duel nobody expected,” Swerdzewski said. “It was a battle.”
The Yellow Jackets threatened in the first inning as they got two hits and put runners on second and third base, but Lammers got out of the jam and then wouldn’t allow a hit again until the sixth inning.
Nation Ford got hits through the first four innings, but could only plate a run in the second as Tim Kelso singled to get the action started for the Falcons. After a couple of stolen bases, Kelso would score on a squeeze bunt from Hayden Mobbs to give Nation Ford its only run of the game.
The Falcons threatened a couple times in the third and the sixth inning to score, but couldn’t get any runs across the plate. Nation Ford was led at the plate by Andrew Pappalardo, who went 2-3 at the plate.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM