It’s the best thing about sports. All of the ups and downs of a season, all of the hard work and sacrifice, and it all comes down to one game.
After splitting the first two games of the AISA Class AA state championship, one game will determine if it will be Edgewood or Macon-East that goes down in history.
“I feel good about our chances. We just need to sit back, relax and play baseball,” Macon-East coach Bob Pickett said. “We’ve played 40-something games, so it’s nothing new.”
Macon-East won the first game 3-2 behind the arm of Logan Coleman. The Knights — who are seeking their first championship since 2004 — scored all three of their runs bottom of the sixth inning. Edgewood scored in the top of the seventh to cut the Knights’ lead to one with runners on, but Coleman closed the door.
Hunter White led Macon-East at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Cannon Colwell went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Coleman struck out nine batters in seven innings, and allowed just one hit.
“I did get a little nervous, but I have faith in my team. I love my team. They have my back just like I have theirs,” Coleman said. “We just have to pick each other up and feed off the first win we had. We just have to come together like we have all year.”
Hunter Elliot led Edgewood to the 2-0 win in Game 2. Edgewood coach Bobby Carr said he saved his best for last.
“I don’t know if he could break a window pane, but he sure knows how to pitch,” Carr said of Elliot. “That’s why my theory is to play my best guy in the second game. A guy that can handle pressure and deal with it. He’s a senior, he’s been here before and he’s seen other guys do it in front of him. What a way to go out his senior year, last outing.”
The Wildcats — who are seeking a seventh straight championship — scored runs in each of the first two innings. Elliot kept the Knights of the board by striking out four batters in seven innings, and also forcing 11 fly outs.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking, but my guys trusted me and I trusted them behind me in the field. I just did what I could and we ended up with the win,” Elliot said. “I’m pretty upset that I’m never pitching again, but I think our team can handle it. We come here all the time, so I think we can handle it.”
J.J. Kidd, Jolan Stieringer and Tyler Matthews each went 1-for-2 for the Wildcats. Kidd also had an RBI.
The championship will be decided at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Neither coach has to say much to their teams.
“They understand what’s at stake,” Carr said. “We have enough seniors that understand, and they’ll find a way to get it done. I’m proud of them for bouncing back the way they did.”