By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
PEARL – This East Union baseball team may be left wondering what might have been following its 5-3 loss Friday to Taylorsville in the MHSAA Class 2A state baseball championship series.
Taylorsville (30-4) swept the series. Friday’s game will be remembered as much for a pair of close calls as it is for being the Urchins’ fifth time here and their fifth series loss.
“I just thought we should have won the ballgame. I thought they got a couple of breaks, you’ll see on the video, but we had so many opportunities to score and we didn’t do what we had to do to win,” East Union coach Chris Basil said.
The Urchins led 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth. Starter Cody Bo Dillard (8-5), a Northeast CC signee, walked two batters and hit a third with two outs. Tartars’ LSU-Eunice signee Sam Walley then lined a shot to left field that appeared to be caught by a diving Tray Davis. Davis came up with the ball, but umpires signaled a drop and the go-ahead run scored.
“There’s no doubt about it, he caught the ball,” Basil said. “But that’s part of this game. You’ve got to overcome adversity and we weren’t able to do that.”
Taylorsville added a run after an argued balk and two-out RBI single from Austin Moffett in the fifth.
Davis and Austin Sanders singled in the top of the seventh, but a double play off the bat of Austin Basil ended the rally and the game. It appeared Walley’s foot was inches off the first-base bag and that he may have dropped the baseball before securing the out. The call was quickly made and the game ended.
“We’re not making any excuses,” Chris Basil said. “We had opportunities to win the ballgame. We just didn’t do it.”
East Union (22-16) had three of the game’s five errors. It took its first lead of the series in the first inning, loading the bases against Jordan Hayes (9-0). Sanders reached on an error that scored a run and Basil drove in two on a single. The Urchins left two on, then the bases loaded after Trey Barkley and Dillard singled in the second.
“They’re just a great team,” Dillard said. “It’s been a great time. I’m thankful I got to play for East Union.”