Eagles rally is one run short against Covenant Christian

Friday, May 24, 2013
South Putnam senior JD Briones pitches during a game earlier this year. (Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN)

SPEEDWAY -- The South Putnam baseball team put together a seventh-inning rally against Covenant Christian on Friday, but the comeback attempt came up one run short.

The Eagles lost in the opening-round sectional game at Speedway 4-3.

Freshman Grady McHugh had a big night at the plate for SPHS, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.

South Putnam senior Justin Bumgardner lines a ball to left during a game earlier this season. Bumgardner hit a single that scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh on Thursday. (Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN)

McHugh singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth, then stole second to get into scoring position. A sac bunt by Wyatt Nees and a groundball by Tanner Thompson got the Eagles on the scoreboard.

Senior JD Briones started on the mound for the Eagles and threw a complete game in his final high school appearance. He had six strikeouts and kept the Eagles alive against the high-powered Warriors' offense.

SPHS (4-19, 2-8 WCC) came up in the bottom of the seventh with the season on the line, trailing by three runs, and Joe Waters got a rally started.

Waters battled from a full count to draw a leadoff walk. Senior Aaron Parker came up next and doubled to put a pair of runners in scoring position.

Senior Justin Bumgardner came up next and drove a base hit to right, scoring a pair and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate with nobody out.

Junior Tyler Long, the Eagles' leading hitter who was 2-for-4 on the night, popped out to the second baseman, who then caught Bumgardner off the bag, netting two outs and stopping the SPSH rally.

Briones came up and watched strike three go past him, but Covenant Christian catcher misplayed the ball and Briones hustled to get safely to first base and give the Eagles new life.

The chance was short-lived as a groundball to second base by the next hitter ended the game and season for SPHS.

Covenant Christian advances to the sectional semifinal, where it will play Cloverdale at Speedway at 10 a.m.

The sectional championship game is Monday at 7 p.m.

IHSAA Sectional quarterfinal
At Speedway

Cov. Christ. 10 ? ??? ? -- 4 6 0
S. Putnam 000 100 2 -- 3 6 0

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