Tigers tumble

Clutch homer elevates Mansfield to 4-2 victory over host Seymour in annual wood-bat tourney

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Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 5:00 pm

It’s safe to say that when the spring season arrives in six months, a solid baseball rivalry is in place between Mansfield and Seymour.

The two teams likely will battle for the Summit Conference crown.

They likely will battle for the Class 2 district title.

Last Saturday, they battled for the championship of the Seymour Wood-Bat Tournament, where Mansfield secured a 4-2 victory over the host Tigers to take top honors.

A month ago at the conference’s fall tournament, Seymour defeated the rival Lions by a single run.

On Monday, Sept. 24, Mansfield handed the Tigers their first loss of the fall campaign with a 3-2 decision.

“The last five times we’ve played, it’s been decided by either one or two runs,” Tiger head coach Jason Duey said.

“It’s a good rivalry of a couple of teams that are pretty even in a lot of ways.”

The difference on Saturday.

“They got big hits ... specifically, one really big hit,” he said. “And we left a lot of runners on base. In the end, that’s the difference. They beat us.”

Saturday’s defeat dropped the Tigers’ fall record to 8-2.

As was the case when the two teams battled just five days before, Seymour jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.

Leading 2-0 in the fourth frame, Mansfield’s Hesston Gray quickly turned a two-run deficit into a one-run lead with a single swing of the bat via a three-run homer.

The Lions added a fourth run in the fifth inning for the final margin.

In the interim, Seymour squandered several scoring opportunities, including two innings where the bases were loaded. The host Tigers had 16 total baserunners in seven innings with six hits, seven walks, two batters who were hit by a pitch and one batter who reached on an error.

“Over the last few years, we have cleared many hurdles, but we still have a few more to get over,” Duey said. “They are mostly mental hurdles.

“We’ve left too many runners on base all fall, and Saturday just continued that pattern. It caught up with us. After the game (on Saturday), I challenged the boys to want to be the guy who steps up in clutch situations instead of looking for someone else to do it.”

Senior Brady Brooke was the Tigers’ losing pitcher.

He went five innings and allowed four runs on seven hits.

Brooke struck out eight and walked three.

“Brady pitched well,” Duey said. “It was just one pitch.

The Gray kid for Mansfield made a great play, hit a really big home run in a close game.”

Junior Carson Sturdefant pitched the final inning and didn’t allow a hit or run while striking out one.

Offensively, it was Brooke who led the Tigers.

The senior standout was 2-for-4 and scored both Tiger runs.

Seymour’s other hits, all singles, came from seniors Justin Herion and Truman Hosiner, sophomores Nathaniel Hosiner and Brock Pearce.

Junior Nathan Baker had a sacrifice fly.

In Seymour’s two pool-play games at the tourney, the Tigers scored 24 runs and allowed none.

Last Thursday, the Tigers defeated Blue Eye 14-0.

On Friday, Gainesville fell to Seymour 10-0.

Blue Eye didn’t record a hit against the Tigers; Gainesville had only two.

“Our pitching (in the tourney) was very good,” Duey said.

“(Senior) Eric Helms was outstanding in the opener against Blue Eye, and the same can be said for the way that Brock

Pearce pitched against Gainesville.”

Against Blue Eye, Seymour led 1-0 after one inning, 10-0 after two and 11-0 after three. The Tigers scored three more runs in the fourth inning.

Truman Hosiner was the team’s offensive leader as he went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, three runs scored and career-best five runs batted in (RBIs) from the leadoff spot.

Brooke was 2-for-4 with a triple, one run and two RBIs, while Helms added a double, scored twice and had one RBI.

Sturdefant was a perfect 2-for-2 with one RBI.

Senior Keaton Owens scored twice, Baker singled, scored a run and had one RBI, while Pearce also scored. Herion and Nathaniel Hosiner scored runs.

On the mound, Helms was nearly perfect.

In five innings, he threw only 57 pitches. He allowed no runs on no hits, walking just one.

He also struck out 12.

In action Friday against Gainesville, Seymour led 6-0 after two innings and 10-0 after five.

Pearce continued the stellar pitching trend against the rival Bulldogs, allowing no runs on only two hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked one.

Offensively, Helms was the Tigers’ standout as he went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs.

Sturdefant was 1-for-3 with two runs and one RBI.

Brooke and Pearce each had doubles and one RBI.

Baker and Owens each singled and scored a run, while Herion and Nathaniel Hosiner each had one run scored and one RBI.

Truman Hosiner scored twice.

The Tigers wrap up their fall season this Thursday at Spokane.

Game time is 4:30 p.m.

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