MADEIRA — The Madison High School baseball team played well enough in the Division III postseason tournament to make its 14th-seed label go undercover.
The Mohawks held their own against No. 6 Madeira before falling 7-6 on a two-run, walk-off hit by Hunter Loring on Monday in a district semifinal at Sellman Park.
“We knew the road wasn’t going to be easy for us, but this group just battled,” Madison coach Matt Morrison said. “They are some tough kids. … This group never quit.
“In the midst of losing, I’m so proud of them. I really am,” Morrison added. “It’s hard. We’re losing three great seniors. They’re not just great baseball players. They’re great kids, too. So this one hurts.”
The Mohawks graduate Lane Byrd, AJ Fugate and Ethan Gadd.
Madison ended its season at 9-20 but not before reeling off tourney wins against No. 8 Seven Hills (12-3) and No. 4 Mariemont (5-3). The Mohawks went 2-11 their first 13 games and finished 6-5 in the month of May — including big wins against Carlisle and Blanchester.
”We weren’t supposed to be here in the first place,” Morrison said. “We’re a 14 seed.”
Madison utilized some small ball, took advantage of five Madeira errors and scored five runs in the top of the fourth to take a 6-3 lead.
“I just had a feeling that we were going to break something loose and get going, and we did,” said Morrison, who went on to compliment Madeira starter Andre Solano. “It just hurts that we lost like that. That’s all I can say. I thought this group was going to be playing on Wednesday.”
Solano pitched six innings and struck out seven for the Mustangs, who face No. 1 Greeneview in a district final on Wednesday, May 24, at Midland Baseball Complex.
Byrd went 2 for 3 to pace Madison at the plate, while Jadon Tucker, Landen Potter, Austin Harden and Devin Lindsey each had a hit. Grady Combs scored twice for the Mohawks.
“We weren’t hitting the ball hard,” Morrison said. “We thought we had to do something to manufacture runs. That’s what we had to do throughout the season. Tonight, (small ball) benefited us for a while until the end.”
Loring, Aidan Megois and Peter Breidenbach had two hits apiece for the Mustangs.
Madeira got the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh down 6-5 when Megois walked, Solano was plunked by a pitch and Nick Heisser singled on a bunt. Loring came through with his game-winning base hit that found its way into left field.
Byrd received the loss on the mound for Madison.
CIN. COUNTRY DAY 7, CARLISLE 4
CARLISLE — Carlisle saw its season come to a close in a Division III district semifinal on Monday.
The Indians (16-9) graduate seniors Bryce Brown, Carson Burney, Bryce Gill, Brandon Hampton, Bradley Lesh and Kolby Millard.