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2A baseball: Bishop McLaughlin falls short of first state berth

Bishop McLaughlin’s Mitch Ritter, who was pinch running for Cy Beermann, slides across home plate after an error.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Bishop McLaughlin’s Mitch Ritter, who was pinch running for Cy Beermann, slides across home plate after an error.

SHADY HILLS — For five innings Friday night, Bishop McLaughlin did everything right.

David Heintz, the Hurricanes starter, dominated. The hitters throughout the order contributed scattered hits. And Bishop McLaughlin scored twice in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead.

The Hurricanes were ahead 2-0 going into the top of the sixth inning of their Class 2A region final against Shorecrest. They were six outs from winning and becoming the first team in the school's history to reach the state final four in any sport.

It didn't happen.

The Chargers scored three runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead. Bishop McLaughlin never could regain control and lost 3-2.

"It's disappointing," Hurricanes coach Nick Rodriguez said. "We did some uncharacteristic things and we'll have to learn from the pressure and not do those things again."

Early in the game, Heintz and Shorecrest pitcher Marc Brakeman matched each other with zeroes on the scoreboard.

Then in the fifth inning, Bishop McLaughlin found some offensive life when Cy Beermann led off with a single. Mitch Ritter, a pinch runner who came in for Beermann, stole second, stole third and went home on an error.

The Hurricanes (20-10) added another run on a double by Dre Leal that brought home Mike Bennett, who reached on a fielder's choice.

But the Chargers (22-8) answered a half inning later. Spencer Heath was hit by a pitch and John Oorlog drew a walk to start the sixth inning.

Jason Kiracofe followed with a sacrifice bunt to move both runners. Tyler Larson, the No. 7 hitter, then tied the score with a two-run double. Two batters later, No. 9 hitter Jake Brandenburg had what would be the-winning hit, a single that drove in Larson.

"I knew we were capable of rallying and the bottom of the order came up huge for us," Shorecrest coach Don Reed said. "They did a good job of battling."

Brakeman took care of things after that.

The sophomore retired the side in the final two innings, including three straight strikeouts to end the game.

"I realized it was up to me in the last two innings to get us to state," said Brakeman, who finished with 12 strikeouts.

"I was able to pull it together and get it done."

2A baseball: Bishop McLaughlin falls short of first state berth 05/15/10 [Last modified: Saturday, May 15, 2010 12:18am]

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