The Hebron Eagles made playoffs this season but saw the road end too soon with close losses to Carroll Academy in the first round of post-season.
Hebron Christian 4 vs. Carroll Academy 5
Hebron Christian opened the first round of the playoffs as the number-one seed against Carroll Academy at home and a see-saw game ensued.
Both teams would go scoreless in the first inning but Hebron would plate the first run of the day when Channing Tapley led off the bottom of the second with a single and would later be driven in on a single by Payton Griffin.
CA would tie things up in the top of the fourth. Again, HCS would answer in the bottom of the inning beginning with a single from Tapley who would later score to put the Eagles up by one.
In the sixth, CA plated two runs to take a 3-2 lead.
Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Tapley doubled off the right center fence and scored on a ground out by Griffin. Again, CA pushed the lead to one in the top of the seventh but Troy Arnold drew a walk, Jessie Moore reached on a bunt and Brandon England singled to score Arnold to tie the game and put runners at second and third with no outs. A two-out intentional walk to Tapley loaded the bases but the Eagles couldn’t get that last run across and went into extra innings.
CA scored two in the eighth and HCS couldn’t answer to take the 5-4 loss.
“Carroll threw a good pitcher at us but we had our opportunities,” said coach Cass Tapley. “There in the seventh, we got our 8-9 batters on base with no outs and the top of the lineup coming to the plate and only got one run out of it. In the playoffs you have to be able to make the plays.”
Hitting for Hebron: Channing Tapley, 3/3, 2B, 3 runs
Payton Griffin, 2/4, 1 RBI
Jessie Moore, 1-1
Payton Griffin, 5 innings
Drew Myatt, 3 innings.
“Carroll threw a good pitcher at us but we had our opportunities. There in the 7th we got our 8-9 batters on base with no outs and the top of the lineup coming to the plate and only got one run out of it. In the playoffs you have to be able to make the plays.”
Hebron Christian 8 vs. Carroll Academy 9
Immediately following the opening game came the second game in the best-of -three series. With Hebron now the visiting team, they would jump out to an early 1-0 lead following a single by Collin Moore who would later come around to score.
CA answered with three of their own in the bottom of the first and scored three more in the third to go up 6-1.
In the top of the fourth, Hebron came roaring back. The Eagles produced seven runs on seven consecutive hits by Clay Faulkner, Landon Hill, Arnold, England, Collin Moore, Myatt, Tapley and Faulkner again with his second hit of the inning.
CA cut in to the 8-6 lead with one run in the bottom of the fourth. Neither team was able to plate another run until the bottom of the seventh when CA scored two to take the win and advance into the second round of the playoffs.
” I have to give our guys credit,” Tapley said. “When we got down, they didn’t quit and came storming back. It was just like the first game. We just couldn’t hold them off in that last inning. It was a good year for us though I didn’t see this early playoff exit coming. We got such a late start on the season and with a couple key injuries along the way I think we never did reach our potential until this last week. We will certainly miss our three seniors but all the guys can hang their hat on the District Championship they earned. Next year looks very bright with probably 80-percent of our offense back and our returning pitching should be outstanding.”
Hitting for Hebron:
Collin Moore, 2/4, 2 runs
Troy Arnold, 2/4, 1 run
Brandon England, 2/4, 1 run, 1 RBI
Clay Faulkner, 2/4 1 run, 1 RBI
Channing Tapley, 1/3, 1 run, 2 RB
Drew Myatt, 1/4 1 run, 2 RBI
Landon Hill, 1/4, 1 run
Pitching: Drew Myatt, Brandon England and Landon Hill.