Pacers upset by Milan 6-4 in Sectional opener

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The successful season of the Switzerland County baseball team came to a sudden end last Wednesday night when the Pacers fell to Milan in the opening round of the Class 2A Sectional by a score of 6-4.

The Pacer attempt to defend their Sectional crown came to an end after Milan scored two runs to break a tie in the top of the seventh, and Switzerland County couldn’t respond.

Senior hurler Bob Tressler was over powering early, striking out the side in the top of the first inning.

Switzerland County got in the scoring column in the bottom of the first, when Nate Hunter singled to center. Zach Whitaker followed that with a single to left; and when Kyle Konkle was hit by a pitch, the bases were loaded. Hunter Jordan’s one out single scored Nate Hunter, but the chance at a big inning fell through.

Milan bats remained quiet in the top of the second, as Bob Tressler struck out two more batters and the third out was recorded on a dribbler back to the pitcher’s mound.

After the Pacers went out in order in the bottom of the second; Milan opened the third with Jordan Burton attempting to bunt. He popped the bunt up, and Bob Tressler dove off the mound to catch the bunt and record the out.

The Indians got their first base runner when Shawn Fox reached on an error, but he was erased when he got picked off second base. A Jon Bixler groundout was the third inning, and Bob Tressler had faced the minimum nine batters after three innings.

Switzerland County got two more runs in the bottom of the third, when Nate Hunter singled to left and Zach Whitaker walked. Nate Hunter then scored on a throwing error by the Milan catcher, and when Bob Tressler doubled to the leftfield corner, Zach Whitaker scored the third Pacer run.

Milan tied the game in the top of the fourth, when Mason Cutter led off the inning with a double to right. He scored when Sam Rehn singled to left; and after Jordan Hoegeman was hit by a pitch; Brennan Tinker’s grounder went through Pacer shortstop Brandon White, and two more runs scored.

Further damage was averted when Milan’s Jordan Burton’s fly out to leftfield results in a double play on Austin Murray at second base.

Switzerland County retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth, as Brandon White opened the frame with a sharp single down the leftfield line. After Douglas Ray singled to left, both runners advanced on a balk by the Milan pitcher. Brandon White then scored on a wild pitch, and the Pacers were back in front 4-3.

Milan came right back and tied the game again in the top of the fifth, when Shawn Fox drew a walk and after making his way to third, scored on a wild pitch. Sam Rehn also reached on a walk in the inning, but was stranded at second.

The Pacers couldn’t mount any offense in the bottom of the fifth; and neither team could put together a scoring threat in the sixth.

The Pacers did get some outstanding offense in the sixth, as third baseman Kyle Konkle made an outstanding defensive play moving to his left; and leftfielder Hunter Jordan followed that with an outstanding catch.

Pacer coach Chad Combs made a pitching change in the top of the seventh, bringing in Kyle Konkle from third to pitch.

Shawn Fox led off Milan’s seventh reaching on an error by Brandon White; and Jon Bixler moved him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Mason Cutter singled to right, moving Shawn Fox to third; and he scored when Sam Rehn smacked a sacrifice fly to center. Milan’s Jordan Hoegeman then singled to right, allowing Mason Cutter to score, and the Pacers came to their final at bat needing two runs to extend the game.

Dalton Wagner’s grounder back to the pitcher was the first out; and Tanner Jones followed that with a strikeout. Nate Hunter then drilled a sharp liner to center; but when the Milan outfielder tracked it down, the game was over, and so was the Switzerland County season.

Bob Tressler pitched six outstanding innings, striking out seven and allowing just three hits.

The loss ended the Switzerland County careers of seniors Dalton Wagner, Bob Tressler, Tanner Jones, Kyle Konkle, Jimmy Meyer, Hunter Jordan, and Nate Hunter.