SPRINGFIELD — On Monday, May 9, the Preble Shawnee Arrows baseball team traveled to Springfield to participate in the postseason sectional baseball tournament’s first round action. Unfortunately, the 14th-seeded Arrows had their season come to an early end, losing a close game to Northwestern Springfield, 4-3.
Coach Joe Leach felt they had a good chance to win.
“I thought if we could get a win against this team, we could make a run in the tournament,” he spoke of the 6th-seed Warriors. “After scouting them, I knew we were very similar teams and had a good shot to win.”
The Arrows scored first in the opening inning, after Chase Thompson reached base on an error, while Luke Lovely and Clay Morgan were both walked to load up the bases.
The next batter, Cody Chesnut, hit a liner over first base to bring home the two runners and gave the Arrows a 2-0 early lead.
The Warriors were not shaken, and quickly responded in the first inning to close the gap 2-1. The next three innings proved to be a pitching duel between Shawnee’s Eryk Smith and Northwestern’s Christian Highfield, holding both opponents to zero point production.
The Arrows broke the scoring drought in the top of the fifth inning when Payton Roberts cracked a base hit, followed by a stolen base to lead off the inning. During the attempted steal, the Warrior’s catcher overthrew the baseman, allowing Roberts to gain third base.
Roberts managed to tag home plate on a wild pitch, giving Shawnee a 3-1 lead.
The Warriors, however, answered with a lead-off walk and a couple of hits and tied the game on a two-out error by Shawnee. The sixth inning provided no runs for Shawnee, but Northwestern took the lead off a single, a stolen base, and two sacrifice bunts executed by the Warriors to bring home the winning run.
The seventh inning was shut down by Highfield’s pitching to seal the victory by retiring the final three Shawnee batters.
“I’m proud of our team and the way they played the second half of the season, winning six of eight games before today’s game,” said Leach afterwards.
The Arrows finished 7-14 on the season and said farewell to seniors Payton Roberts, Dylan Weireter, Trey Smith, Joby Williams, Clayton Morgan, Chesnut, Thomas, Buell, Jaret Dearth, and Wyatt Downard.