For The Tribune
Evansville Memorial built a 5-0 lead after two innings of play and handed Brownstown Central a 7-0 loss in the semifinals game of the Southridge Class 3A Regional on Saturday at League Stadium.
“The coaches and players alike were soaking up the atmosphere,” Braves coach John Lawson said. “We were just happy to be here.”
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The Braves were playing in their first regional since 1982 and were playing in a stadium made famous by the movie “A League of Their Own.”
“I just think we ran into tough pitching,” Lawson said. “Any time you just get one hit it’s a very, very remote possibility that you stand a chance to even be in the game, let alone win a game. That’s where we were.”
With one out in the top of the first, Caleb Meeks walked. Drew Ashley then laid down a bunt, but the catcher’s throw to first base went for an error.
The next batter grounded out to third for what would have been the third out before Will Durchholz singled to drive in both runners.
Michael Lindauer led off the top of the second with a walk before Braves starting pitcher Tyler Lawson retired the next two batters on a sacrifice and groundout before a single and back-to-back doubles produced three runs and the 5-0 lead.
Ashley led off the fifth inning with a double and later scored on a wild pitch, and Lindauer doubled in the sixth and scored on a single to complete the scoring.
The Tigers finished with nine hits, including four doubles and a triple.
Meeks and Ashley had long drives into left-center field that Braves center fielder Carson Lambring and left fielder Austin Green got their gloves on but were unable to hold on to for outs.
“They swung the bats pretty well,” John Lawson said. “We gave up a couple of unearned runs there in the first. They hit a couple of balls, I think if we would have got to them, we would have got out of the second without them scoring.
“But regardless, you’ve got to score to win. We just got beat by a really good team. Their defense was solid and their pitching was good.”
Ty Maxie had Brownstown’s only hit, a single to left field with one out in the first inning.
Ashley retired the next two Braves, then retired the Braves in order in the second and third innings.
Luke Johnston came in to pitch for the Tigers in the fourth inning with one out, Zach McCory drew a walk but the next two batters struck out.
The Braves’ best opportunity to score came in the sixth when Cody Williams led off by reaching first safely on an error by the shortstop. Lambring was hit by a pitch, and after the next batter flew out to center, McCory was hit by pitch to load the bases with one out, but the next two batters struck out and popped out to second base.
The Braves (22-6), who hit only four fly balls to the outfield, were walked once, were hit by pitches twice and went three up, three down four innings against two pitchers.
Lawson said overall his team did a good job on defense.
“We made most of the plays,” he said. “We had some nice defensive plays. Zach got a couple balls at shortstop that were tough balls, and Tyler made some nice picks at first. Lambring ran a mile in center and almost came up with that one.
“It was a great season, and that is what I want them to go out with. They’re going to remember Monday night (North Harrison Sectional championship) more than they remember today. When they’re my age they’ll remember all the good memories of Monday night.”