In a game of inches, the Hornets came up just short against the Carmi-White County Bulldogs on May 26.The Hornets ended their season with a record of 27-6, a season which featured a 21 game winning streak, and a regional championship.
The Hornets outhit the Bulldogs 10-8, but Carmi made some great defensive plays on their way to a 5-3 victory. After the game coach Chad Malawy talked about his team hitting the ball, “we squared up some balls nice, it just happened to be at them. I don't think they were outstanding plays, but just 10 more feet here, or 10 more feet there, and those balls are down for extra bases.”
The Hornets got the lead early, as they scratched across a run in the first. Hayden Heggemeier led off the game with a base hit off the way, but was tagged out at second, as he slid past the base. The Hornets would still be able to score in the inning. Cody Bauza reached on a infield single, and after being lifted for courtesy runner, Nick Krummrich, scored on an error by the Bulldogs shortstop.
Carmi would tie the game in the second after Hornets starter Ryan Brink walked Justin Lamp, and Lamp came around to score on a double by Trent Williams. The Hornets had opportunities throughout as, they couldn't do anything after Austin Anderson doubled to lead off the second inning of play. The Hornets also had two runners on in the third after back-to-back singles, but could not plate a run.
The Hornets got into trouble in the fourth, as Brink walked the first batter of the inning, before hitting the next batter, to give Carmi two base runners. Those two runners would come around to score on a double by Williams, and Williams would score later in the inning on a wild pitch. After the game Malawy talked about the inning, “in the big inning they had, that let them pull away a little bit, we gave away free bases and that translated into runs.”
The Hornets got one of their runs back in the fourth inning, on a two-out double by Heggemeier, scoring Anderson to cut the Carmi-White County lead to just two. But the Bulldogs came back in the fifth, getting the run back on a two out single by Williams. In the bottom half of the inning, Brady Bultman crushed a solo home run to right, but it was the last run the Hornets could muster as the fell by a score of 5-3.
After the game Coach Malawy talked about the loss, “we just didn't play typical Hornets' baseball, but we're an awfully good squad to win 27 games with our schedule. I think we play some lights out baseball in Nashville, and unfortunately for us we didn't get it done. Carmi is a good team, they're full of seniors, I think they started seven maybe eight seniors and we started two. We're young and we'll be back next year and hopefully in this position like this, to compete for a Sectional title.”
On the mound Brink started the game for Nashville going the first four innings giving up four earned runs walking three batters, hit two, and struck out six. Anderson came in for the final three innings of the game, and settled things down,as he gave up just one earned run, walked two and struck out five.
At the plate, the Hornets were led by Bultman, who played his final game for Nashville, and went 3-3 just a triple shy of the cycle as he had a home run, a double, a run scored, a RBI, and a walk. Anderson also went 3-3 in the game with two doubles and a run scored. Heggemeier ripped the ball each time he was up, and was the victim of some good defense as he finished 2-4 with two doubles and a RBI. Bauza nd Brink each went 1-4 for Nashville in the loss. Jaris Dalman was hitless in his last game, but did reach via the walk. Krummrich scored a run for Nashville in his final game in a Hornets uniform.
Coach Malway talked about the season and the program after the loss.“I think we have an outstanding program, automatic goals for us is to win twenty games, and win the conference, and win a regional, period. That's how we judge our season, regardless of whether we're seniors or underclassmen, and we got all three of those goals. And along the way, we ourselves not just winning twenty games but winning 27, and along the way a 21 game winning streak which is our school record now. Anytime we get players that are four year players and three year starters, like a Jaris and Brady's been a contributer for these years, its awesome for our program. What it does is, it helps continue our tradition. I don't have to police the dugout, I don't have to police kids sprinting on and off the field, and playing the game the right way and playing hard-nosed baseball because of the tradition we have, that's what seniors do for us.”