SILO - Colbert lost a classic pitcher’s duel on Friday in a 1-0 decision favoring Rattan, ending the Leopards’ season just one game shy of the state tournament.
Kason Krob whiffed 14 Ram hitters, getting burned on an error and a two-out RBI single in the first inning.
“He’s been our horse for the last two or three seasons,” said Colbert Coach Lance Britt. “He gave us everything he possibly could. I expect him to throw the big games and I feel like he stepped up and did a good job.”
Rattan threw Blake Watts, who struck out seven Colbert batters in a one-hit shutout. The Rams join Silo and Tushka as this area’s entries to the eight-team state tournament starting next Thursday.
“Our kids battled and battled,” Britt said. “We’ll work to get better, and hopefully in the spring we’ll be able to capitalize and get ourselves in better position.”
Watts reached base on an error in the first inning, then scored on Alex Clay’s RBI single for the only run of the game. The Rams got two more on base in the second due to Colbert miscues, but Krob was able to strike out the final batter to strand both.
Colbert’s Dylan Jones was hit by a pitch in the third, stole second and later reached third on a failed pick-off, but his teammate’s bats couldn’t bring him home. He was one of five Leopards left on base, compared to eight left hanging by the Rams.
In the fourth, Colton Bruce fired a ball off his bat into the gap but Rattan center fielder A.J. Davis chased it down. Then the Rams loaded the bases on Krob, but a Jordan Jones fly ball chased down by Ethan Williams in right field ended the threat.
Each team took turns stranding base runners in the fifth and sixth.
Colbert’s final stand in the seventh started when pinch hitter Jared Tucker chopped one off home plate and reached on a throwing error. A balk call got him to second base.
Keller Cummins laid a sacrifice bunt to the sweet spot up the left side, moving Tucker to third as the tying run with one out. Tanner Lyday popped up for the second out.
Dylan Jones grounded out to end the Colbert rally and the season.
In other Class A regional action, Tushka went 2-1 at the Byng regional to advance to the state tournament.
Coach Eddie Jeffcoat’s Tigers lost to Latta 10-8 on Thursday but bounced back with a pair of Friday wins to advance. Wister defeated Byng 3-0 and the Tigers swept the host Pirates out of the playoffs with a 1-0 decision.
Tushka defeated Wister 7-4 in the must-win regional runner-up game. Latta defeated Wister earlier in the day to capture the regional championship.
In Class B, the Boswell Scorpions under Coach Alan Cartwright are headed to the state tournament for the first time in quite awhile. The Scorps defeated Caney (0-2 in the regional tournament) before dropping a 7-0 decision against host Red Oak in the regional championship.
Boswell then gunned past LeFlore 9-5 in the regional runner-up game on Friday.
The Coleman Wildcats were eliminated from the playoffs with losses to Olustee and Dover last week.