A 12-inning marathon is tough on everyone, but it will have been even tougher on Rush Springs.
After battling away for eight innings, the Redskins couldn’t turn a brave defensive performance into a Grady County championship game appearance. They fell 2-1 to Union City, who get the honor of playing in Grady’s baseball showpiece on Saturday.
Defense overwhelmingly dominated play, although there were plenty of chances for both teams to score after the Redskins tied it up in the third. Rush Springs had 11 base runners stranded in the afternoon of attrition; Union City had 13 left on base.
Eventually in the top of the 12th, Union City plated the decisive run. Colten Whitehead dropped one just over second before Josh McMin set a similar shot to right. Rance Lewman then had an RBI single drop into center. More crucially for Union City, Rush Springs didn’t respond in the latter half of the inning.
That’s because the Redskins had already struck back after going down by one. An otherwise fine defensive display was marred by a third inning Rush Springs will want to forget. Three of their five errors in the game were committed then, which led to Riley Woods crossing home for the Tigers.
Having been blanked in the first three innings, the Redskins found a way in the second. Braydon Moreno hit an RBI double to score AJ Cox. Little did they know it would be the last bit of action for anyone for a while.
Rush Springs had their best chance in the bottom of the sixth. A Josh Borski single loaded the bases for Jace Jones, but starting pitcher McMin had other plans. Jones swung away for the third out, one of McMin’s seven victims on the afternoon in seven innings pitched.
In similar fashion to their offensive efforts, Rush Springs responded in kind. With Holden Nichols fresh on the mound and bases loaded for Union City, he got Woods swinging to end the inning unscathed.
They just couldn’t get the response the last time they needed it. It leaves an unfortunate case of déjà vu for Rush Springs. In Amber last weekend, the Redskins fell to a walk-off single against Roff in the third place game of the Panther Classic having entered the final inning on top.