Two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning propelled No. 8 St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic to a 5-3 win against Centreville Saturday in the Division 4 regional finals at Decatur. The Bulldogs defeated Decatur 6-3 in the semis.
No. 5 Centreville had some great opportunities in the top of the seventh to extend the game with runners on the corners and one out. Brady Reynolds doubled and stole third, and Kyzer Bowen drew a walk, but the Bulldogs ran out of time after a pop out and a ground out.
Alex Meyer started for Centreville and went four innings with eight hits and three earned runs allowed. He struck out four and walked one. Lake Michigan Catholic scored one run in the first inning but trailed 2-1 through two innings.
Andrew Stevens reached on an error with one out in the second frame and Seth Chiddister moved Stevens to second with a sacrifice. With two outs, Chandler Hostetler and Tyler Carpenter walked to load the bases. Collin Kirby’s double to center field scored two runs.
Centreville scored one more run in the top of the third for a 3-1 cushion, but LMC responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning and two more in the sixth on 11 total hits.
Stevens tossed a third of an inning for Centreville and gave up one hit, and Chiddister went the last 1 2/3 with two hits and an earned run. He fanned four batters.
Kirby (double), Bowen (double) and Hostetler (double) each had two hits and Reynolds doubled. Coleton Gascho added one RBI for the Bulldogs, who finished the year with a 19-3 record.
Semifinal highlights by Mat Stutzman
In the semifinals, Centreville had an answer each time Decatur pulled ahead, and then finished strong. The Raiders took a 1-0 advantage in the first inning and Centreville tied it up in the bottom of the second. Decatur plated two runs in the third and the Bulldogs came back with two in the fourth to make it a 3-3 game. Centreville went on to score one run in the fifth and two in the sixth for the final score.
Both teams finished with three hits and Centreville had three errors in the contest.
Gascho threw the complete game with only one earned run allowed. He fanned six Raiders and walked three, throwing 71 strikes out of 104 total pitches.
In the second frame, Gascho was hit by a pitch to lead things off and Meyer put down a sacrifice bunt. Andrew Stevens walked, and with two outs, Chandler Hostetler was plunked to load the bases. Tyler Carpenter was patient at the plate and drew a walk that pushed in the Bulldogs first run.
Stevens was hit in the fourth inning before Seth Chiddister connected on a fly ball to right field that advanced Stevens to third. With runners on the corners, Hostetler doubled on a line drive to left to score both runners.
Meyer’s single in the fifth scored Reynolds, who walked earlier in the inning. Chiddister was hit by a pitch and Hostetler walked to start the sixth and Carpenter was successful on bunt. With one out, Reynolds hit a sac-fly to right that scored Chiddister and Hostetler later scored on a wild pitch.
Axton Gerhold took the loss for Decatur. He lasted 5 2/3 innings with six earned runs allowed, three strikeouts and four walks.
Alex Meyer, Seth Chiddister (double) and Hostetler (double) had hits for Centreville. Hostetler drove in two runs, and Brady Reynolds, Meyer and Carpenter each had one RBI.
Photos by Tammy Rigby