By DOUG DONNELLY
ADRIAN – Whiteford’s baseball team didn’t get much break in-between games Saturday.
After a convincing 8-3 win the first game of the day to win the school’s first regional title since 2008, the Bobcats figured they’d have a bit of a rest before starting the quarterfinal game.
But, when Marine City Cardinal Mooney knocked out Lenawee Christian in quick five-inning game, the Bobcats were left to scramble a bit to get ready. Whether or not that affected Whiteford in the game or not is up for debate, but the Cardinals scored three times in the first inning and went on to a 9-1 win, sending the Bobcats to the sidelines.
“I’m not making excuses,” Whiteford coach Terry Pant said. “They are a really good team. There is a reason they have been ranked No. 2 all season. They came in and started hitting right away. I think it took us a little bit to get settled.”
The Bobcats spotted the Cardinals three runs and rallied in the third inning, getting one of those back. Instead of slamming the door on Cardinal Mooney, however, the Bobcats gave the run right back.
“That was big,” Pant said. “We were back in the game, then they scored again. I feel like we gave it away a little bit. Too many balls were on the ground, skipped past our gloves or dropped. To beat a team at this level, you have to play mistake-free baseball and we didn’t.”
Whiteford has five hits in quarterfinals, compared to 12 by the Cardinals, who broke the game open with a four-run seventh.
The Bobcats got to the final eight by beating Burton Genesee Christian 8-3 in the first game of the day at Adrian College’s Nicolay Field.
The Bobcats scored three runs in the first inning. Leadoff batter Shea Ruddy was hit by a pitch, Logan Tammerine singled and Levi Hillard singled Ruddy to third. Luke Rasor grounded out, scoring Ruddy. Two batters later, Austin Wynn singled, scoring two runs.
Genesee Christian got a three-run double with two outs and the bases loaded by A Brewer to tie the game in the second.
In the third, Cole Giesige singled home Tammerine, who had two hits on the day. The Bobcats added four runs in the fifth to put the game away.
Eric Parriett came in the game in relief of Giesige and shut the door on Genesee Christian, holding them off the scoreboard the rest of the way. It was Whiteford’s first regional title under Pant.
“We started off 0-5 and we made it to the quarterfinals,” Pant said. “We’ve got a big group back. We just have to build off this.”