The top of the fifth proved to be a good half inning for Sacred Heart, but bad for French Camp as the Panthers' baseball season ended with a loss in the opening round of the 1A playoffs.
French Camp rallied to win game two of the best-of-three series on the road 8-7 but lost the first and third games at home.
The Panthers led the first game 7-2 before Sacred Heart tied the score with five runs in the fifth, then won the game 9-7 with single runs in the sixth and seventh.
In game two, French Camp tied the score at 7-7 with a run in the sixth then won it in the seventh on a walk to Logan Perkins and a two-out double by Macon Bentley.
The decisive game was tied 2-2 until Sacred Heart again struck with a five-run fifth inning on its way to a 9-3 victory.
French Camp out-hit Sacred Heart 9-8 in the first game, but five Panthers errors resulted in five unearned runs,
“We had a 7-2 lead and we flat out gave it away,” Coach Nathan Wright said. “We almost did it the next night when we had a 6-0 lead. Then in Game 3 they actually beat us.”
Ethan Wright had two doubles and two RBIs and Cody Perry three hits and scored three runs for French Camp in the first game. Ryan Gerald was 4-4 for Sacred Heart with two singles and two doubles.
Bentley had two doubles and a single and scored three times in Game 2. Gavin Pierce had a double, two singles and two RBIs for Sacred Heart.
French Camp had only five hits in the third game, including a double by Perry and two singles by Kason Rainey. Five players had two hits each for Sacred Heart.
French Camp qualified for the playoffs by finishing second in Region 5-1A. Sacred Heart, third in 8-1A, will play Stringer in the second round.
Wright noted the team’s improvement during the season.
“I told the guys I am super proud of them,” said the coach. “The pitching came along, the catching got better. Our approach at the plate was better.”