TIFFIN – Despite a wide gap in their win/loss records and sweeping the season series with Margaretta, Huron baseball coach Sam Hohler did not expect his team to win in a walk over the Polar Bears Thursday in Division III district semifinal action.
And, sure enough, Margaretta did not go quietly.
Despite trailing by five runs heading into the sixth inning, Margaretta showed poise and patience at the plate and brought the tying run to plate before finally falling short, 8-5, and closing its season with an 11-19 record.
“We’ve had to play Margaretta three times this year and all three times they played us tough,” Hohler said. “They’ve never backed down from us, even when our two best pitchers have thrown against them and they always hung in there and found ways to make the game close and interesting.”
Though Margaretta took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, Huron roared back, hitting safely with its first five batters of the bottom of the frame en route to a 5-2 lead. The Margaretta managed just one hit over the next three innings and entered the sixth inning trailing 7-2.
The Polar Bears walked the bases loaded with one out before a single by Noah Esposito and a walk by Tyler Henderson each drove in a run to cut the lead to three, 7-4.
A seventh-inning base hit by Adam Rooker drove in Mason Dye for another run and the Polar Bears put runners on first and second with the potential tying run, forcing Huron to go to its bullpen. Closer Kyle Kovach came got the game’s final out for the save, giving Huron the 8-5 victory.
“Our plate approaches weren’t very good in the third, the fourth and the fifth (innings),” Margaretta coach Gregg Hedden said. “They we really good in the first, second, sixth and seventh. Maybe because (Huron) took the lead, we lost some focus, or maybe that just happens with a young team. I have nothing but good things to say about the direction the kids and the program are going.”