Elgin had two chances to clinch the title in District 5A-2 but the Owls weren’t about to extend the suspense, rolling to a 9-0 victory over MacArthur Monday afternoon to clinch the title making the second game much less important before a good crowd at the Highlanders’ diamond.
Monday’s game was supposed to be at Elgin but with threatening weather predicted Monday and Tuesday, the coaches agreed to play a doubleheader Monday just in case the weather didn’t cooperate.
The Owls scored four runs in the top of the second inning in the first game and Levi Garrett’s club seemed to have things well under control with Jake Thomas putting together a solid effort on the mound in the starting role.
Elgin just kept tacking on runs down the stretch of the opener to make sure there was no comeback in the makings for the Highlanders.
And to finish the district schedule on a high note the Owls earned a 3-2 victory in the nightcap to wrap up a 13-1 district record and they climbed to 24-7 overall.
With the Owls getting the win, it left the Noble-Duncan game to decide which team would finish second behind the Owls and earn the right to host a regional as well. MacArthur finished at 9-6 in district and will finish fourth.
Noble and Duncan entered Monday’s game tied for second at 10-2 and Duncan earned a 3-0 victory in the opener to take the edge at the time but Noble had its ace Colin Fisher on the mound ready to pitch the second game which had been delayed by rain and was scoreless after two innings of play. However, the Bears had put seven runs on the board and seemed to be on their way to victory which could end with those two teams being tied for second.
If Noble does win that second game the tie is expected to be determined by the run differential in all of the District 5A-2 games.
With the title under wraps the second game featured a lot of pitches as both sides had trouble finding the strike zone. The Highlanders, playing as the visitor in the second game, scored an early run on a bases-loaded walk by Rhett Vaughan. But Elgin bounced right back to score three runs in the bottom of the first inning on a home run by James Vanderpool.
It stayed that way until Aiden Veld hit a solo shot for the Highlanders to left-center to cut the Elgin lead to 3-2.
The Highlanders had one last chance in the top of the seventh when it go a runner on base and was able to move him to second with a sacrifice bunt. But the Highlanders were unable to get the tying run home as Elgin’s Grady Thgomas got the called third strike to end the game and complete the sweep.
Karson Christian did give up the three early runs for the Highlanders but after that Highlanders held the Owls scoreless the rest of the way.