From Staff Reports
MANTACHIE – Mantachie starting pitcher Collin Minga's complete-game effort helped bring an end to East Webster's baseball season Monday night in Mantachie as the Mustangs ousted the Wolverines from the Class 2A playoffs with a 5-2 win.
The victory pushes Mantachie into the Class 2A North State finals against Hamilton beginning Thursday.
East Webster's season concludes with a final overall record of 20-8.
The Wolverines never led Monday as East Webster again fell victim to the big inning.
Three days after being hurt by a four-run, first-inning outburst in Friday's series opener, the Wolverines again yielded four runs in a single inning to Mantachie, this time in the bottom of the third to break a scoreless tie.
Down 4-0, East Webster slowly chipped away at its deficit.
Jamie McKee, who contributed two hits to the Wolverines' seven-hit attack, put East Webster on the board with a solo home run in the top of the fourth.
An inning later, Nich Morrow recorded a run-scoring double to cut Mantachie's lead to 4-2.
Though they were back in the game, the Wolverines missed an opportunity to do even more fifth-inning damage after Morrow's hit, as East Webster left the bases loaded in the frame.
In the bottom of the sixth, Mantachie added an insurance run to cap the scoring.
Conner Burton took the pitching loss for the Wolverines, going the first 2 1/3 innings of the game before being relieved by Ty Hendrix.
Despite being eliminated, East Webster head coach Wes Johnson was still proud of his team.
"I can tell you this, they tried as hard as they could," said Johnson. "We were actually overaggressive (Monday). We swung at way too many bad pitches and that comes from being anxious."
While the season is now complete, Johnson believes his club has plenty of reasons to reflect fondly on the campaign.
"I'm sure they are (disappointed) right now," said Johnson. "But when they have time to look back on it, we had a 20-win season and had a lot to be proud of."