Donegal downs Spring Grove in back-and-forth district title game
In a game worthy of being played under the lights of Santander Stadium, Donegal beat Spring Grove in extra innings for the District 3 Class AAA baseball championship on Thursday night.
Both teams left to standing ovations from their fans after a back-and-forth game that saw four ties and six lead changes.
Seven innings wasn't enough to decide the district championship, but the Indians were finally able to break the game wide open in the eighth inning and lift the trophy as 11-5 winners.
Donegal, cheered on by its softball team which won a district title hours earlier, got RBI hits from Ryan Myers, Sam Lazowski, Chris Beaudoin and Dale Hauser in the top of the eighth inning to put a spacious score on an otherwise nail-biting game.
"Sometimes you want things and it just doesn't turn out the way you want," Spring Grove coach Kevin Stiffler said. "It's not because of effort, they gave everything they had today and I'm proud of them. That's one of the best district title games, back-and-forth, between two teams.
"It's one of those games where either team's deserving and they got the gold, we're going home with the silver."
The outcome seemed headed for a different outcome a few minutes earlier, though, when Spring Grove right fielder Cam Sterner worked a two-out walk in the bottom of the seventh inning and moved to third after stealing a base and advancing on a wild throw. But Donegal pitcher Ethan Hess struck out Trent Baker to end the threat and allow the Indians to play on into the night.
Baker had Spring Grove's biggest hit of the game with a two-run double in the fourth inning that put the Rockets up 5-4. But just like both teams did all game, Donegal responded by tying it back up the following inning.
Despite the loss, the Rockets still achieved their best district finish in school history. They will continue their season Monday when they face the District 11 champion in the first round of the state tournament at a location to be determined later.
"We'll probably have a light practice (Friday) and we have our team banquet, get together on Saturday, which is going to come at a perfect time because we need to have a little fun," Stiffler said. "I think they enjoyed themselves tonight and had fun, it's just losing stinks."
Donegal 11, Spring Grove 5
D, Sam Lazowski, Ethan Hess (5) and Camren Ney. SG, Anthony Reed, Jon Sager (6), Logan Miller (8) and Derek Hoiles.
SO-BB — D, Lazowski 2-1, Hess 3-3, SG, Reed 6-3, Sager 3-2, Miller 1-0; W — Hess; L — Sager; 2B — D, Adam Rolenda, Ryan Myers; 3B — D, Kyle Hess.