When it rains, it pours.
The Madison-Plains baseball team had its season come to an end on Tuesday, May 13, with a disappointing 8-0 loss at Centerburg.
The loss was indicative how the Golden Eagles’ (4-19) season unfolded. A clutch hit here or there and things could have been very different, not only in the season ender but the rest of the season as well.
“We had a great chance in the first inning with runners on second and third with no outs and our three, four and five coming up to bat,” Plains coach Zach Durban said. “We weren’t able to drive in a run. That really gave Centerburg confidence and deflated our team a bit. I don’t recall a single time this year that we haven’t got production from those batters in that kind of situation.”
The bad luck continued when ace hurler Hunter Butin suffered a mid-game injury, which further doomed the squad’s chances of pulling out a tournament victory.
“In the second, Hunter Butin was pitching very well for us, as he always does, and took a hit right off his knee which knocked him out of the game,” Durban said. “That was a tough one for our team. Hunter is a good pitcher, a tough out when batting and a team leader. We had some other chances throughout the game, but weren’t able to execute some bunts or drive in runners in scoring position.
“Centerburg made the plays offensively when (it) needed tonight and we did not. I credit our kids for hanging tough considering the loss of Hunter and a nearly hour long rain delay.”
Durban, who just concluded his first year as the head coach of the Eagles, knows that there’s talent on the roster and hard work by all those involved in the program is needed to take things to the next level.
“We have some growing to do as a team before next year,” he said. “We will coach and work hard at improving our team in every facet of the game. This wasn’t the kind of season that any coach or player wanted when we began, but we took some important steps this season that we shouldn’t have to repeat next year. I look forward to getting better as a coaching staff and players for next season.”
A trio of Golden Eagles were recognized for their efforts and picked up Mid-State League Ohio Division honors at the conclusion of the season.
Junior catcher Matt Jeffers was selected to the second-team All-MSL team after hitting .429 and collecting 12 RBI. He also had a .556 on-base percentage.
Infielder Kenkade Snyder and pitcher/infielder Butin, also juniors, were named all-league honorable mention. Snyder batted .475 and had 10 RBI, while Butin was 2-4with a stellar 1.80 ERA.
“I am happy for our players being recognized with postseason honors, each of them are very deserving,” Durban said. “Kenkade and Matt have hit in the three and four spots respectively, all year. They are challenged every game with good pitching and come away with great success. Hunter has been our No. 1 starter this year. He competes hard every inning and has done great for us both in the league and non-conference. I look forward to having all of them back as seniors next year.”
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 18 0r via Twitter @MadPressSports.