The good news for the Paris varsity baseball team, 10-7 overall, is that they drew a bye for round one of Class 2, District 6, but the bad news was that they had to play Northeast (Cairo), 13-3 overall, on their home field on Tuesday in round two.
Considering the Bearcats had just put on a 25-run performance in the opening round against South Shelby last Friday, that was no small task, so when the game went into the seventh with the Coyotes leading 3-2 after three scoreless innings, head coach Mike Fible had to be optimistic. But, anything can happen in prep sports and often does, so when Cairo was able to push a man across the plate, that made it time for an eighth inning.
Momentum can be a fickle mistress, here one moment, gone the next. But the Bearcats were able to harness that magic for one more stanza and post two more runs while playing perfect defense and throwing all the right pitches to beat Paris 5-3.
"It was a tough way to end our season. I'm proud of the way our boys battled through the elements and competed down to the very last out," said Fible. "It's always hard to see the seniors go, but I look forward to the future of Paris baseball."
One way the Coyotes made things especially hard one themselves is that they only had three hits for this game. Complicating matters even further is that Blake Turner accounted for a double, a single, one RBI and a run in three at-bats. Brock Miller had the squads other hit along with two RBI in four at-bats while drawing walks were Forrest Adam, Threlkeld Keaton, Clayton Langured, Chris Ebbesmeyer and Trenton Morgan. Adam stole a base, as well.
Starting this contest on the mound for Paris and throwing just under six innings was Brett Miller, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits and five walks with nine strikeouts. Zac Rentschler then tossed just over two innings and got stick with the loss by virtue of giving up three runs, one earned, on one hit and three walks with two strikeouts.
Northeast next played for the district title on Wednesday against Sturgeon, 5-11 overall, which defeated Westran 3-2 on Tuesday.