The Hillcrest Hornets edged the Waynesville Tigers in a 12-inning thriller Saturday, 4-3, in the first round of the Class 5- District 10 championships.
Issac Norsic drove in teammate Hunter Huett with a single for the winning run.
Hornets starter Collin Irvine tossed 10 innings in the contest, allowing no hits through his first four innings and giving up three runs on five hits total. Trey Simpson, Waynesville’s starter, lasted eight innings and gave up two runs on four hits.
“Right now we’re feeling pretty confident,” Hillcrest head coach Ryan Schaffitzel said. “We’ve been getting a lot of hits with runners in scoring position this year and we’ve been getting our chances and not getting it done at times, but today, Isaac did it for us in the end.”
Waynesville head coach Scott Turner praised both teams for a hard-fought game, saying each left everything they had on the field.
“Both starters did an amazing job on the mound,” Turner said. “As our team goes, we lost, yeah, but on the last day of the season, you don’t want to have any regrets, and I don’t think we have any. We had a safety squeeze, we threw out a guy at the plate. We did everything we possibly could but in the end they got the timely hit that won it.”
The Hornets scored first on an RBI single by leadoff hitter Clinton Raber-Houser in the third.
Waynesville scored two runs in the top of the fifth on an RBI single by Jaylen Bragg and a passed ball. Hillcrest then made it 2-all in their half of the fifth on an RBI single by Adam Barton.
Each team scored a run in the tenth.
“It was one of those games that if you lose you’d second-guess about fifteen things,” Schaffitzel said. “We were error free for twelve innings, so of course that’s pretty amazing. The pitching was a big part of that, not forcing us into making too many tough plays.”
Next up for Hillcrest will be the semifinal against Lebanon May 19 at 4:30 at Glendale. Schaffitzel said the team hadn’t been thinking much about Lebanon because they knew Waynesville would be enough for them to handle, but said they’ll have to make an adjustment when it comes to Lebanon’s starters.
“They have two great pitchers that throw really hard,” he said. “We haven’t seen that kind of velocity very many times, so we’ll go into practice tomorrow and work on our approach.”
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