MASSILLON, Ohio (WKBN) – The South Range baseball team had their season end in the Division III Regional Final to Canton Central Catholic 6-4 Saturday evening.
Watch the video above to see highlights of the game.
The Raiders threatened in each of the first three innings with a runner being thrown out at the plate in the second inning and then leaving the basses loaded in the third without pushing a runner across the plate. But the Crusaders took advantage of their opportunity in the bottom of the third with a sacrifice fly to take a lead in the contest.
“We threatened almost every inning and had things like a player trip coming around third, just frustrating things happened to us today,” Hanek remarked. “But credit to the guys in the dugout. I can’t say enough about how my players fought today. To be able to fight through that adversity, they didn’t dwell on it, and they were able to push forward.”
Down 1-0 in the fourth inning, Brandon Mikos hit an RBI-single to left field, which tied the game at one. Later in the inning, Michael Perry singled to left to give South Range a 2-1 lead.
However, Canton Central Catholic would then plate two runs to retake the lead 3-2 in the fifth inning, knocking the Raiders starting pitcher Billy Skripac from the game. Raiders pitcher Garrett Sheets would get out of the fifth inning jam with the bases loaded.
But in the sixth inning, South Range’s Trey Pancake would hit a two-run home run to left field to give the Raiders a 4-3 lead. The home run brought home Brandon Mikos, who had walked to lead off the inning.
“That was huge,” Hanek exclaimed. “He was due. He was 0 for the other day, and they put him on base intentionally a couple of times, and for him to get into that ball and give us the lead was huge. Unfortunately, we were not able to hold that lead.”
However, the lead wouldn’t last long. The Crusaders responded in the bottom of the six with three runs to take the lead for good. They would collect four consecutive hits to start the inning and then also get a sacrifice fly to score their final run in the frame.
“They hit the ball well in the last inning when they needed to,” Raiders senior catcher Trey Pancake admitted. “They are always a well-coached team. Their coach (Dan Massarelli) is amazing at situational hitting, bunting, stealing, they are good at everything. They know when to take pitches when they need to and they play well.”