For the second time in three years the Elsberry Indians are District Champions.
After a first round bye the Indians took care of business against Clopton and Barat Academy to secure the Class 2 District 5 Championship.
“It feels really good to win that title,” said Coach Shannon Wells. “The kids did a good job coming together and playing as a team. I could not be more proud of them.”
In the title game the Indians faced off against Barat Academy, a team up until Tuesday night they had never seen in person.
It didn’t take long for the Indians to get a feel for Barat Academy’s starter Ryan Meyer, as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings.
In the first Dylan Howard led off the Indians first at bat with a single. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Matt Henry and then scored on a single by Michael Ligon. The Indians starting pitcher Kyle Eisenbath then singled putting runners on first and third. Caleb Eisenbath laced a single to the outfield scoring Ligon for their second run.
When asked about the performance of Ogden and Ligon (combined 5-9) Coach Wells said “I thought those guys did a real good job. Jay and Michael have been the core of our line-up throughout the year and we have looked to them to score runs.”
After a scoreless top of the second for the Eagles, Elsberry was at it again with a lead-off single from Alex Henke, who proceeded to steal second and later score on a single from Matt Henry. Henry crossed the plate for the fourth run after Ligon hit his second single in two innings.
Barat Academy was able to get on the board with a walk, an error and a single in the fourth, followed by two more runs in the fifth cutting Elsberry’s lead to 4-3.
The Indians answered back in the bottom of the fifth Jay Ogden and Ligon delivered back-to-back doubles scoring their fifth run of the game. In the sixth Elsberry added two more from Henke and Howard who scored on another double from Ogden to carry a 7-3 lead into the last inning.
After Josh Phillips and Howard pitched in relief the game was turned over to Chris Hency in the seventh after two runs had already scored by Barat Academy, cutting the lead 7-5.
Hency proceeded to strike out the next three hitters to get the save and secure the 7-5 victory.
After a first round bye the Indians faced off against a familiar foe, the Clopton Hawks, who they had just lost 7-2 the week prior.
This time, however, the Indians starting pitcher Phillips was masterful on the mound allowing just three runs in the seventh inning getting the 6-3 win.
Phillips struck out five, allowing only six hits and walking one.
Offensively for the Indians it was the Eisenbath brothers show as they were a combined 4-7 with two runs scored and two RBI’s.
It took two nights in the sectional game as Elsberry lost 5-4 to Canton. The weather ended the first night with the teams tied 4-4 in the fourth. On Tuesday, Canton scored the only run for the win.