- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
Ava’s pitching was not particularly sharp and the Cuba bats were lively last Thursday afternoon resulting in a 14-8 loss for the Bears in the district championship game.
Because of rain at Salem where the tournament was being played, the championship game was moved to Houston and pushed back from a 4 o’clock start time to 4:30.
Cuba jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Bears answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Austin Casey singled Garrett Baird in, then after stealing second and moving to third on a wild pitch, scored on a throw to second that was too late to catch Ben Loge stealing.
Cuba’s catcher dropped the ball on the return throw to the plate and Casey scored to pull the Bears back within one run.
Ava’s starting pitcher Trae Shelton, who had struggled in the first inning, was pulled for reliever Kody Kutz after Cuba singled on the first pitch of the second inning.
Cuba would pick up two more runs in the second, two additional runs in the third and three in the fourth to lead the Bears 10-2 in the middle of the fourth.
Ava came back with four runs in the bottom on the fourth inning which included a three-run homer by Kutz, and trailed 10-6 after four complete innings.
Each team scored one in the fifth and the Bears picked up an additional run in the bottom of the sixth. But Cuba would rally once more for three runs in the top of the seventh, and held the Bears scoreless in the bottom half to end the game at 14-8.
Pinch hitter Taylor Coonts beat out an infield hit with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Bears some hope.
Ava also left the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning when Ava’s single run came on an RBI walk.
Cody Wallace took over on the mound for Kutz in the fourth inning and was greeted with a three-run home run that put the Wildcats up 10-2.
Wallace pitched four innings for Ava and struck out four batters. Wallace gave up seven of Cuba’s 14 hits. He allowed no bases on balls, but did hit one Cuba batter.
Shelton and Kutz each walked two batters and Kutz struck out two.
Ava scattered six hits throughout the lineup, but no individual had more than one hit on the day.
Shelton reached base three times with two walks and one hit. Cooper Emerich reached twice with a hit and a walk, and scored both times he got on.
Baird and Loge each walked twice, had an RBI apiece and each scored one time.
Coach Rex Sawyer and the Bears ended the season with an overall record of 15-9 and finished 4-3 in the SCA.