In those five innings, the Eagles baseball team watched its best season in school history (22-8) fade away at the hands of the Wildcats of Evansville Mater Dei by a score of 12-0.
"It was one of those games that if something could go wrong, it did go wrong," SPHS Coach Troy Burgess said. "We made a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes that we usually don't make and when you play a team as good as they are, you can't make those mistakes."
The Eagles only made a handful of errors, but when they did the Wildcats made them pay for it.
The first time was in the bottom of the first frame when Brayden Freeman let one of Noah Boswell's pitches slip by him. The ball got away from Freeman and Brent Weinzapfel charged home for the score. It happened again in the bottom of the second inning. Jerad Eickhoff crossed home plate on another passed ball by Freeman, after reaching on a error. Giving the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Mater Dei capped the second frame off with a RBI double by Jacob Weinzapfel.
The Wildcats continued their momentum through the third inning, with Jacob Weinzapfel drilling an RBI double into the outfield, and in the fourth where they turned up the pressure and put the final nails in the coffin.
Mater Dei put up eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, with one getting walked in when Boswell hit a batter with bases loaded and another on a throwing error by Cameron Chestnut from shortstop to home.
The Eagles struggled just as much offensively as they did defensively.
South Putnam collected only two hits with one of them being a double, which everyone thought a was a homerun over left field fence until the left fielder threw it back into play, in the top of third by Rob Gibson. The other was a single by Flory.
Even though his team lost, Burgess was proud of his players.
"These kids have nothing to be ashamed of," Burgess said. "There were only eight teams in Class 2A baseball playing tonight (Saturday) and they were one of them.
"These kids had a great year and did a wonderful job and it just wasn't meant to be today," Burgess added. "This was a new experience for us. Noah played in the regional before during his freshman year where no one else on the team has. So I'm sure nerves played into tonight as well."
In Boswell's final appearance on the mound for South Putnam, he gave up six hits and 12 runs , while striking out one in three and 1/3 innings before getting relieved by Flory.
"I thought Noah pitched a fine game," Burgess said. "We just didn't make the plays we needed to behind him and one mistake turns into two and when you play a like this; they will take advantage of that.
"And that's what they did tonight," Burgess said. "We made mistakes and they capitalized on it and scored some runs."
South Putnam loses only two seniors this season, Boswell and Flory.
The Eagles reached the championship game after crushing the Eastern Green Thunderbirds, 15-2 in the first game of the day.
Offensively the Eagles pounded the ball, collecting 15 hits which included a three-run shot by Chestnut and a solo home run by Drew Cash. Chestnut led the team with two hits and four RBIs, while John Spencer had three RBIs with one hit. Grant Zimmerman collected three hits on the day ,while Boswell and Freeman added one hit and one RBI each. Flory had three hits and three RBIs, while Gibson had one hit. Cash was perfect 3-for-3 on the day.
Defensively, the Eagles were led by Zimmerman who went the distance for the Eagles, striking out five, while allowing two runs on four hits. The Eagles also turned two double plays in the game as well.
South Putnam 000 00 -- 0 2 4
Mater Dei 121 8 X -- 12 8 1
Freeman and Boswell, Flory (SP); Larue and Major (MD)
WP -- Major
LP -- Boswell
2B -- J. Weinzapfel (MD) Eickhoff (MD), Gibson (SP)
Record -- South Putnam finishes the season 22-8.
Class 2A Regional
South Putnam 251 08 -- 15 15 2
Eastern Greene 200 00 -- 2 4 5
LP -- Sparks
WP -- Zimmerman
2B -- Freeman (SP), Flory (SP), Spencer (SP)
HR -- Chestnut (SP), Cash (SP)