NEVADA – Elysian Fields’ baseball team was unable to keep its season going as it fell short in the game three of the regional semifinals against the Gunter Tigers in a 9-3 final at Community High School in Nevada. Elysian Fields’ season comes to an end with a final record of 26-9 while Gunter advances with an overall record of 34-8.
“It was exciting,” Elysian Fields head baseball coach Sean Struwe said when asked how he would sum up the season as a whole. “It was a journey. We played good ball sometimes and we kind of didn’t play our best sometimes. It was just one of those seasons where you’ve got to work through some adversity here and there, keep sustaining the climb and try to keep pushing on and fight through the season. It’s a long season when you get this far. You’ve got to play baseball at the right time and we started doing that I think.”
The Yellow Jackets scored their three runs on six hits. Logan Presley went 2-for-4 with a double and scored one run. Noah Grubbs was 1-for-4 with one run. Ryan Wilkerson went 1-for-3 with one run and one RBI. Jackson Illingworth was 1-for-3 with one walk. Jace Greenslate was 1-for-3 with one RBI. Landon Swank reached on a walk and had one RBI. JD Ballard reached on a fielder’s choice and a hit-by-pitch.
Gunter scored their nine runs on 12 hits. Garrett Vogel went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI. Kaden Rigsby reached on a hit, a walk, a fielder’s choice and scored two runs. Cade Dodson was 1-for-4 with one RBI. Trey Oblas went 2-for-3 with one run and two RBI. Cooper Wade reached on an error, a single, a walk and scored one run. Landon Pelfrey was 1-for-4 with one walk. Zach Boland reached on a base hit and had one RBI. Colton Jolly was 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Carter Layton got on with a walk, a fielder’s choice and scored one run.
Riken Bostic got the win from the mound for the Tigers where he stayed until the sixth inning, throwing 76 pitches, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out two batters.
The game led off with a base hit from Vogel. He was thrown out at second when Rigsby reached on a fielder’s choice. A fly ball to leftfield was followed by Rigsby being thrown out at second for the final out of the top of the first inning. The Yellow Jackets went three up, three down in the bottom half as the two teams were scoreless heading into the second inning.
Oblas beat out the throw to first to lead off the second inning with a base hit. He took second when Wade reached on an error. The two base-runners advanced into scoring position on a 1-3 sacrifice grounder that was followed by two more of those 1-3 grounders to bring it to the bottom of the inning and keep the Tigers scoreless. Illingworth sent the ball into the right field to lead off the second inning with a single. The next three batters were retired as the score remained 0-0 after two innings.
With one out in the top of the third, Vogel singled for his second hit of the game. Rigsby reached on a full-count walk. Dodson then singled and that loaded the bases for the Tigers. Vogel was brought home to score the first run of the game on an RBI sacrifice fly from Oblas. Rigsby wasn’t far behind him as he scored on an RBI single from Wade. That gave Gunter a 2-0 read lead heading to the bottom of the third inning. Presley reached second on a two-out double but a strikeout ended his chance of giving his Yellow Jackets their first run just yet. The two teams entered the fourth inning with Gunter leading 2-0.
Jolly singled with one out in the top of the fourth before Layton was walked. Greenslate then took the mound for the Yellow Jackets. The two base-runners were each brought home on a two-RBI double from Vogel who scored his second run of the day on an RBI sacrifice from Dodson. Rigsby ran home to tack on another run on an RBI single from Oblas. That gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead heading to the bottom of the fourth where the Yellow Jackets went three up, three down.
The Yellow Jackets forced the Tigers to go three up, three down in the top of the fifth as Greenslate tossed two strikeouts. Ballard reached on a hit-by-pitch but was thrown out on a double play to end the fifth inning as the Tigers led 6-0.
Gunter went three up, three down for the second straight time in the top of the sixth. That brought it to the bottom of the inning where the Yellow Jackets trailed 6-0. Presley reached with a one-out single. Grubbs followed that up with a base hit. Wilkerson slapped the ball for an RBI single to bring home Presley for the Yellow Jackets’ first run of the game. The Tigers intentionally walked Jackson and that loaded the bases with one out. Greenslate reached on an RBI single to score Grubbs. The Tigers then turned to Daniel on the mound. Swank was walked and that scored Wilkerson. The Tigers made their second pitching change as Dodson took over on the mound. Illingworth was called out when Ballard reached on a fielder’s choice. A strikeout ended the inning as Elysian Fields trailed 6-3 entering the seventh inning
Oblas and Wade each reached on a walk. The bases were loaded when Pelfrey singled. A hit, followed by an error allowed Boland to reach as Oblas and Wade each scored. Jolly’s RBI single scored Pelfrey to spread the Tigers’ lead back to six runs. Layton reached on a fielder’s choice, putting to runners on base. Gunter left those runners stranded but took its 9-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh where the Tigers had one last chance to extend its season.
However, Elysian Fields went three up, three down as the Tigers sealed up the 9-3 win and punched their ticket to the regional finals where they will go head-to-head with the Atlanta Rabbits.
“I’d say they mean a lot to me,” Struwe said of his seniors. They’ve done a lot for me. I told them I’m just as grateful for them as I hope they are for me. I’ve enjoyed watching them play and I’ve enjoyed the journey just as much as I hope they have. I hope it’s something they carry with them that they can use down the road in a lot of life situations.”