ATHENS — The Miami Trace Panthers varsity baseball team traveled to Ohio University in Athens Monday to take on the Athens High School Bulldogs in a Division II District semifinal match-up.
Mistakes proved costly for the Panthers in a 6-2 loss to the Bulldogs.
Miami Trace ends the 2016 season with a record of 16-7. (The Panthers placed third in the SCOL with a record of 9-5.)
Athens improves to 17-11 and will next play Marietta for a District championship back at Bob Wren Stadium on the OU campus Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Senior Trevon Burnside started and was the hard-luck losing pitcher for the Panthers. He pitched five innings, giving up just three hits and four runs (two earned). He walked three, struck out five and hit one batter.
Darby Tyree pitched the sixth inning for the Panthers with two runs (one earned) on one hit with one walk and two strikeouts. He hit two batters.
Rogers started and pitched a complete game for the win for the Bulldogs. He allowed two runs (both earned) on six hits with two walks and one strikeout.
The Panthers got on the board in the top of the first inning.
Trenton Harris led off the game with a single.
Josh Morton put down a sacrifice bunt, moving Harris to second.
Brady Wallace followed with a walk and with two outs, Skylar McDonald hit a single to right-center, scoring Harris.
In the second inning, the Panthers had two batters reach on errors.
However, they were not able to parlay that into a run.
Athens tied the game in the bottom of the second.
The game remained tied, 1-1, until Athens scored another single run in the bottom of the fourth.
The Panthers answered quickly, tying the game with a run in the top of the fifth.
Heath Cockerill led off the inning reaching on an error.
Cockerill scored on a hit by Harris.
Athens regained the lead with a run in the fifth.
The Bulldogs tacked on three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth and made them stand up for a 6-2 victory.
The Panthers stranded one runner in the sixth and two in the seventh.
“We had our opportunities,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Smith said. “We had some base-running mistakes that took away some chances to score some runs.
“We hit a lot of balls at them,” Smith said. “We put the ball in play, it’s just…we were our own worst enemy all night. We made some mistakes that we haven’t been making the last couple of weeks. Some of the mistakes we were making early in the year we ended up making last night.
“But, that’s baseball,” Smith said. “Not to take anything away from Athens, because they are a nice team.”
Smith reflected on the 2016 season.
“We’re going to miss our three seniors,” Smith said, referring to Trevon Burnside, Drew Stevens and Kody Scott.
“Trevon Burnside pitched a good game, coming back on three days rest,” Smith said. “He just did a nice job. He really came into his own as a baseball player the last few weeks of the season.
“The same with Drew Stevens,” Smith said. “Drew had an excellent senior year. And, we’re going to miss Kody Scott for his leadership.
“This was a team that just got better and better as the year went on,” Smith said. “We had a lot of success toward the end of the season. It was a shame that last night, we kind of had a fallback.
“I told the kids last night after the game that they improved immensely throughout the season,” Smith said. “They got a lot better.
“We have 13 of the 16 kids on our roster returning next season,” Smith said. “We’re looking forward to next year.”
Offensively for Miami Trace: Trenton Harris, 2-3, 1 run, 1 rbi, 1 hbp; Josh Morton, 1-3, 1 sac.; Brady Wallace, 1-3, 1 bb; Mitchell Creamer, 0-3; Skylar McDonald, 1-3, 1 rbi; Coby Hughes, 1-3; Jacob Batson, 0-3, roe, 1 sb; Drew Stevens, 0-3; Heath Cockerill, 0-2, 1 bb, 1 run.
Offensively for Athens: Kostirar, 1-2, 2 runs; Kostler, 1-2; Thomas, 1-4; Stewart, 1-4; Rogers, 1 bb, 1 run; Keefer, 1 bb, 1 run; Stiffler, 2 runs.
MT 100 010 0 — 2 6 5
A 010 113 x — 6 4 3
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1