CARLISLE — Deep postseason runs have been the norm for Tri-County North’s baseball team of late.
The Panthers made another run this year, but the their bid to reach a third regional tournament in the past four years came up short last week.
North’s offense was quiet for most of its Division IV district final game against Cincinnati Christian on Friday, May 24, en route to a 3-1 loss at Carlisle High School,
The game started on Wednesday, May 22, but was postponed after an inning due to rain.
When play resumed on Friday, Cincinnati Christian pitcher Mitchell Smith was able to contain the Panthers offense, holding them to just four hits while striking out 13 batters.
North pitcher Collin Whipp was just as solid, holding Cincinnati Christian to four hits, while striking out six.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third when Cincinnati Christian pushed across a pair of runs.
Connor Ploetz walked and Smith followed with a single to begin the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third. Ploetz scored on a ground out to give his team a 1-0 lead. Smith later scored on a North error.
Cincinnati Christian added to its lead in the fifth, scoring on a passed ball.
North, which finished the season 16-10, scored its lone run in the top of the sixth.
Casey Whipp led off with a single. An out later, Clayton Finney singled and Phil Lockwood walked to load the bases. Whipp eventually scored when Smith was called for a balk.
Collin Whipp was 2-for-4, while Casey Whipp and Finney had the other hits for North.
For the Panthers, it was their fourth straight year playing in the district final.
The senior class of Collin Whipp, Casey Whipp, Chayse Eby, Lockwood, Dylan Curtin, Wyatt Hutchins, Liam Downing and Clayton Finney have also been to two regional tournaments and won a Cross County Conference championship.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH