Seymour’s baseball team had hits and advanced runners to second base in each of the first three innings of Thursday’s Bedford North Lawrence Class 4A Sectional game against Floyd Central.

However, the Owls were unable to get hits in the clutch to score those runners and fell 5-1 to the Highlanders.

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Alan Perry had singles in the first and third innings, and Tyler Bloom singled in the second, but they were three of the five runners the Owls left on base for the game.

The Highlanders broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth on a single, hit batter and two-run single by Brayden Edwards.

The Owls got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning when Seth Maki led off with a walk and he went to third on a single by Bloom.

Matt Fourman hit a single to center to score Maki, but that was the Owls’ final hit.

Owls coach Jeremy Richey gave credit to Floyd Central junior right-hander Alex Lozado for pitching six strong innings.

Lozado gave up five hits, struck out four and walked one in raising his record to 7-1.

“He’s a good pitcher. He’s an all-conference pitcher that had an ERA below 1.00, I think, when he got here,” Richey said.

“He really challenged us, and I think we did some nice things but other than the one hit for Matt Fourman, we just couldn’t get that big hit with runners in scoring position again. A lot of that is to his credit. He did a nice job. I think our kids competed really well. I think it kind of got away from us a little bit at the end.”

The Highlanders had a single and double to score one run in the sixth, then used a walk, triple and error to score twice in the seventh.

Bloom and Perry both finished with two hits, and Fourman had the other hit. The Owls struck out a combined seven times and Maki drew their only walk.

“We knew there was going to be some struggles at the plate against a pitcher like that,” Richey said. “Our goal was to get guys to second base as often as we could so it only took one hit to score a run. I think we did that, especially early. The first three innings we had that and scored in the fourth. In the first four innings we put ourselves in that position. We just didn’t get that big hit when we needed it.”

Satoshi Hirose held the Highlanders scoreless while giving up three hits through the first three innings. He finished with 5.1 innings of work with one strike out, no walks, eight hits and three runs.

“That was our plan coming into it,” Richey said.

“We were going to go with him until he got in trouble, and then we were going to go to Tyler. We threw strikes, we made them put the ball in play. They just got big hits, and that’s a credit to them. They earned it tonight, we didn’t give it to them.”

The Owls finished their season with a record of 15-9, and Floyd Central is now 17-8.

Seniors on the team were Hirose, Luis Munoz, Zach Carpenter, Fourman and Bloom.

“I’m very proud of our kids, proud of our seniors for the way that they battled because they’re a good team and we gave them everything we had tonight,” Richey said.

New Albany edged Jeffersonville 1-0 in the first game Thursday. New Albany and Floyd will play at 1 p.m. today, and that game will be followed by Bedford North Lawrence playing Jennings County.

The championship game will be at 2 p.m. Monday.

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.