By Chris Parker (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Seymour’s season of firsts came up one game short of the ultimate prize, as the Tigers fell 9-0 to Class 2 No. 1 Ellington in the Class 2 State Championship game on Friday.
Ellington pitcher Kaleb Richards was masterful throughout the game. He threw all seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks while yielding just four hits. It took Richards just 82 pitches to get through the game.
“He (Richards) mixed up his pitches really well. Any time he got behind we couldn’t just sit fastball because he would mix it up with his off-speed stuff. Credit to him. He did a really good job,” Seymour Head Coach Jason Duey said. “We put it in play at times. We just didn’t get the breaks we needed to score some runs. He did a really good job of keeping us off balance all day.”
Seymour starting pitcher Carson Sturdefant danced around trouble in the first as he walked three but struck out three and stranded the bases loaded. Ellington took a 1-0 lead after the first inning.
Ellington blew the game open with four runs in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth inning to take a commanding 8-0 lead. The Whippets tacked on one more run in the seventh inning to get the score to 9-0.
The ending wasn’t what Seymour wanted, but there is still a lot for the program to celebrate about the season.
“We can’t put our heads down. It is going to hurt for a while. It was a really good ride,” Duey said. “We had never even won a district before. To get to the final game says a lot for these young men.”
The Tigers will graduate four seniors from this team in Brady Brooke, Eric Helms, Truman Hosiner and Keaton Owens.
Seymour won just seven games their freshmen season. Then the Tigers finished 11-12 in their sophomore year. As juniors, they were the district runner-up with a 20-6 record. 21 wins this season gives that group of seniors 59 wins in four years.
They will leave behind an enduring legacy for Seymour baseball.
“Four years ago we talked about building a program. That is their legacy. They built the program. Hopefully well beyond me Seymour will have a good baseball program,” Duey said. “They excited the town. They brought the town together.”