Sometimes its not your day.
“Central City just played a little better than us,” Arlington baseball coach Tyler Stender said Friday night. “Not much I would've changed.”
The host Kernels, ranked second in Class C, closed out the No. 9 Eagles' spring season with a 5-3 win in the C-3 District Final. The loss dropped AHS' record to 11-10 overall after a 1-1 district showing.
“This was a very enjoyable season,” Stender said. “We had a great group of seniors. We played really well at times.”
The eldest Arlington players led the way.
“What a great group of seniors. All seven of them,” the coach continued. “They all had their roles, embraced them and did what they were supposed to. They're good character guys and had a very solid senior season. It'll be hard to replace them.”
Against Central City, one of those AHS seniors — Braden Monke — scored the game's first run during the first inning. The dialed-in catcher singled from his lead-off spot in the order and later scored on a wild pitch, Stender said.
“But the whole team was very focused going into the game,” he added. “Focused but not too tight.”
The Eagles' 1-0 advantage held until the bottom of the second frame when the Kernals scored three times. Arlington minimized the damage, though, earning three outs after the home team had already gone ahead 3-1.
The visitors responded immediately, tying the score during the next half-inning in the third. Monke singled again before Killian McIntosh plated him with a double. Senior Trevor Denker then hit a run-scoring triple to even up the district matchup at 3-all.
“Big hits off a pretty good pitcher,” Stender said.
The consistent scoring continued, though, as Central City plated what became the winning runs during the bottom half of the third frame. It led 5-3, but the Eagles were undeterred.
“Down two really didn't feel too bad in this game,” Stender said.
AHS' pitcher, Tyler Ott, was “locked in” for the rest of the game and the Eagles earned base runners, too.
“Didn't quite get the big hit or have things break our way, but had opportunities,” Stender said. “The guys really did a good job of staying positive.”
In defeat, though, the coach credited four players specifically for standing as Arlington's foundation during the winning baseball season. Three of those players were Monke, Kaden Pittman and Denker.
“We knew that going in and they all had really great seasons,” Stender said. “And Ott had one of the better seasons on the mound I've seen in a while.”
Friday just wasn't the Eagles' day as the 20-4 Kernels advanced onto the state tourney.
Eagles advance with 6-5 win
Jack Bang hit a fourth-inning homer Thursday in Central City, propelling the second-seeded Eagles to a 6-5 win against the No. 3 seed, Maxwell-St. Pat's.
“Jack's home run was big for us,” Stender said, noting the 2-1 deficit the dinger erased. “Put us back up. Changed the momentum and gave us some confidence.”
Arlington led from there, adding two runs during the sixth frame for a 6-2 lead. Maxwell made a seventh-inning comeback attempt, but it fell short.
Stender credited Grange Suhr, Bang and Pittman for a “solid pitching day” in the win.
“They all limited walks and defense played pretty well,” he said.
AHS BASEBALL LINE SCORES
No. 2 Central City 5, No. 9 Arlington 3
AHS (11-10) 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 — 3 6 1
CC (20-4) 0 3 2 0 0 0 X — 5 9 1
No. 9 Arlington 6, Maxwell-St. Pat's 5
MSP (6-7) 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 — 5 9 3
AHS (11-9) 1 0 0 3 0 2 X — 6 9 0
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