RATTAN – Sterling was one win away from the Class A state baseball tournament, but Amber-Pocasset’s bats proved too much during an 18-12 win in regional play last week.
Am-Po’s eight-run fourth inning was the critical point in the game, as Sterling couldn’t recover from a 14-4 deficit. The Tigers scored a single run in the fifth inning, four in the sixth and three more in the bottom of the seventh, but the rally fell short.
Six Sterling pitchers walked 13 Am-Po hitters and allowed two home runs. During the fourth inning, Sterling pitchers walked five hitters and hit one other batter.
Am-Po tallied two runs in the sixth and seventh innings each to seal the win.
Sterling finished the season with a 24-11 record.
“For the most part, it (the season) was pretty good. We would’ve like to win one more game,” Sterling head coach Brett Holmes said. “We just couldn’t throw strikes (against Am-Po).”
In the first regional tournament game, Sterling squeaked past Am-Po with a 6-5 win after Tyler Pierce clobbered a home run over the right field fence in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Am-Po tallied one run in the top of the first, but Sterling bounced back with two runs on an RBI single by Riley Lile and a run-scoring double by Khaiden Gardner. Sterling increased its lead to 5-1 on a three-run double by Kayden Wilson.
Am-Po tied the score after notching one run in the top of the third inning and three more in the fifth inning. A few minutes later, Pierce hit his home run on a 1-1 pitch to win the game for the Tigers.
However, the good fortune didn’t continue for Sterling, as the Tigers lost a 12-2 winner’s bracket game to Rattan. Rattan rocked Sterling for its 12 runs in the first inning, highlighted by a Keegan Robertson grand slam. Rattan used six more hits and two Sterling errors in the explosive first inning.
Sterling pushed across its two runs in the top of the fifth inning on a Tyler Pierce homer over the right field fence.
Senior Nate Anderson started on the mound for Sterling and was tagged with the loss, giving up four earned runs on one hit. Jayden Huitt relieved Anderson in the first inning and pitched four innings. Huitt gave up one earned run on six hits and struck out one Rattan hitter.