Wildcats fall in regional final
EVART — It was a memorable season which the Evart Wildcats didn’t want to see end.
But the Wildcats fell to Beaverton 3-2 in eight innings on Saturday in the Division 3 regional title game at Gladwin, and the season ended for Evart at 30-7.
The Wildcats defeated Roscommon 1-0 on Wednesday in the regional semifinal to advance to Saturday’s title game.
Evart opened the scoring with an RBI sacrifice fly by Justin O’Dell in the top of the third for a 1-0 lead. Beaverton scored in the bottom of the fourth.
Evart regained the lead the top of the sixth on an RBI single by Garrett Johnson for a 2-1 lead. Beaverton tied it 2-2 the bottom of the sixth. The game went into the bottom of the eighth. Beaverton had two outs and then put together three straight hits to win the game.
Danny Witbeck went 6.2 innings for Evart and left because of the pitch count. O’Dell went the rest of the way.
Ty Sochocki and Billy Conklin both had singles for Evart. Johnson had two singles.
“It was a real nail-biter,” Evart coach Josh Johnson said. “Our kids felt we could beat these guys and showed up to play great baseball. We made a mistake or two. We had one error which resulted in a score. We had some opportunities offensively.
“The kids played tough. We made defensive play after defensive play. In the seventh, they had a runner on second and had a base hit, which could have been the end of the game. I had Danny out in right field. He threw the kid out at home plate to end the seventh.
“We made a lot of really good plays to stay in it. It was an exciting game.”
Later in the afternoon, Beaverton lost 7-6 in nine innings to Gladstone in a state quarterfinal game.
The MHSAA moved the quarterfinal games to Saturday rather than having it a few days prior to the semifinals and finals in order to help teams with the pitch count rule.