MONROE — A brutal third inning was the downfall of Clinton-Massie’s baseball team Thursday in a Div. II Dayton Sectional Championship game against Waynesville at Monroe High School.
Waynesville scored eight runs in the third on just three hits en route to a 12-1 win over Clinton-Massie.
The Falcons’ season ends at 21-5. The Spartans will play in a district championship game Saturday at Mason.
“Our kids have done a great job all year long,” CM coach Brian Camp said. “We’ll learn from this and hopefully come next spring we’ll be ready to go again.”
The lone Clinton-Massie run came in the second. JP Cantrell reached on an error to start the inning. Aric France singled to left then Dana Eichenhorst singled home Cantrell to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second.
But in the Waynesville third, the Spartans took advantage of several walks, a couple of hit batters, a questionable call at first base and three hits to plate eight runs.
Wyatt Jefferson, the Clinton-Massie lefty who no-hit Wilmington and handcuffed Ross on two hits in his most recent outings, had little control in the third and was lifted after just 2 1/3 innings on the mound. He gave up six runs.
France faced two batters — with both scoring — then Noah Greathouse finished the inning and gave up a run.
In that third, though, with two runners on and one out, it appear as if Clinton-Massie had picked off the runner at first base. The base umpire called the Spartan safe. Camp talked with the ump and finally the two arbiters came together. The home plate umpire had a better angle on the play but after a short discussion the safe called was upheld and the inning continued.
The next WHS batter doubled home a run and the rout was on.
“Umpires don’t beat you,” Camp said. “We still have to find a way to get out of that inning.
“Our pitchers didn’t really have good stuff. We had way too many walks. When you walk eight and hit three, it’s just tough to win games at this juncture of the season.”
The game was the final in the CM career for seniors Jefferson, Cantrell and Hunter Fentress.
“They were great kids to work with and I wish them the best of luck,” Camp said.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports