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The Ava High School Bears have won two games in the district baseball tournament this week and will play for the championship this (Thursday) afternoon at 4 o’clock at Salem.
The Bears, seeded third in the tournament, will be playing the No. 4 seed Cuba.
The tournament has been a series of upsets so far, with Cuba knocking off top-seed Salem in the semifinals.
St. James (7) defeated No. 2 Mtn. Grove 13-3 in first-round action, then Ava defeated St. James 10-0 Tuesday to advance to the finals.
Ava received an outstanding pitching performance from freshman Ben Loge on Tuesday. Loge pitched a “no/no” for the Bears, giving up no hits and no runs, and striking out 13 St. James batters.
Zach Leonard was equally impressive at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three runs batted in. Kody Kutz was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
After being rained out on Saturday, the Bears faced Mtn. View-Liberty in first-round action Monday, defeating the Eagles 7-6.
Kutz started for the Bears and pitched three innings, giving up four runs and striking out four.
Cody Wallace relieved Kutz.
No one had more than one hit for the Bears, but Ava made the hits count, scoring seven runs on just six hits.
Ava battled for six walks and had one batter hit by a pitch.
Trae Shelton had the only extra-base hit with a double.
Austin Casey had two RBIs and two runs scored. Leonard also crossed twice after walking and being hit by a pitch.
Coach Rex Sawyer says his Bears are playing really good ball right now and just hopes they will continue to do so as post-season play continues.
The district winner will play the winner of District 9 next Tuesday at a location to be determined later.