The Miami Trace Panthers varsity baseball team made history this season, winning a program-record 23 games.
The Panthers hosted Unioto Monday evening for a Division II District semifinal game.
Unioto capitalized on four Miami Trace errors to post a 6-1 victory.
Unioto will play Hillsboro Tuesday evening for the District championship at the V.A. Stadium in Chillicothe. Hillsboro beat Sheridan Monday, 2-0.
Conner Bucher started for the Panthers on the mound and suffered the loss. He pitched five innings with three hits and four runs (one earned) with eight strikeouts and five walks. He hit one batter.
Hunter McBee pitched two innings in relief for the Panthers with five hits, two runs (both earned), four strikeouts and one walk.
Cam DeBord pitched a complete game with eight hits allowed and one earned run. He struck out nine, walked four and hit one batter.
The Sherman Tanks sent eight batters to the plate and scored three runs in the top of the first.
The first three batters walked to load the bases.
After a strikeout, Braxton Platt reached on an error that scored Micah Geise and Cam DeBord.
After the second out, Lemaster singled, scoring Carson DeBoard.
The Panthers loaded the bases after the first two batters were retired in the bottom of the first.
Josh Gilmore walked and Braden Osborne singled to center.
Gabe Campagna walked to load the bases, but the next batter flew out to end the inning.
The Panthers scored what turned out to be their only run of the game in the bottom of the second.
Luke Henry led off with a walk and with one out, Wes May grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Henry out at second.
Conner Bucher singled to left and McBee singled to right, scoring May.
Unioto left two runners on base in the top of the third.
The Panthers had a single by Campagna in the bottom of the third.
After a scoreless top of the fourth, Henry led off the Panthers’ fourth with a single. However, he was stranded at second.
Unioto then began a string of three consecutive one-run innings.
In the top of the fifth, Landyn Patterson began things for Unioto with a single and Platt walked.
Patterson scored on a ground out by D.C. Dailey to make it 4-1, Tanks.
In the fifth for the Panthers, McBee walked and with two out, Campagna was hit by a pitch. The Panthers stranded two runners in the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Ashton Crace singled and with one out, Cam DeBord bunted for a basehit.
Carson DeBord singled, scoring Crace to make it 5-1, Unioto.
The Panthers put two runners on base in the sixth inning with singles from Luke Zimmerman and Bucher. However, the Panthers would not score.
In the top of the seventh, Dailey led off with a double and scored on a single by Crace to give the Shermans a 6-1 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Gilmore led off with a double.
However, the next three batters were retired to end the game.
“We had quite a few hits,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Smith said. “It’s just that (Cam DeBord) got the outs when they needed them. He had a gutty performance. He’s a whale of a pitcher and we knew that.
“I was proud of our kids,” Smith said. “We just left runners on and that’s the thing we knew would get us in the long run. When we got off to the bad start, we needed to capitalize.”
Miami Trace left 11 runners on base, as did Unioto.
The Panthers left five runners on base in the first two innings.
“That’s when you give DeBord a lot of credit,” Smith said. “He got the outs when he needed to.
“When it was still 3-1, we hit a ball up the middle and it bounced right to the second baseman and he was able to get the out at second,” Smith said. “That’s baseball, especially when you get into tournament play.
“To me, the Southeast District is the best it’s ever been,” Smith said. “All four teams that got into the District tournament had over 22 wins. Hillsboro beat Sheridan tonight, 2-0 and that’s the third place team in our league. It’s good baseball.
“They capitalized on our mistakes in the first inning,” Smith said. “Then, in another inning, they capitalized again. Hats off to them; that’s what you do to win games in the District tournament.
“Right now it’s the end of the world to our guys,” Smith said. “They had high aspirations. But, you look back and it’s the best record in school history (23-2) and we won the league and a Sectional championship.
“This was a great group of seniors,” Smith said, referring to Josh Gilmore, Brayden Cooper-Smith, Luke Zimmerman, Colin Farrens, Hunter McBee, Jordan Wolfe, Kyler Batson, Luke Henry, Braden Osborne, Bo Little and Dylan Bernard.
“Last year’s senior class taught these guys how to lead,” Smith said. “They had fun. Even when we were down 6-1 in the seventh, they still thought they had a chance. I’m proud of our kids. For our seniors, their lives are just beginning.”
Offensively for Miami Trace: Conner Bucher, 2-4; Hunter McBee, 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 bb, sb; Josh Gilmore, 1-3, 1 bb, 1 2b, 3 sb, fc; Braden Osborne, 1-4, sb; Gabe Campagna, 1-2, 1 bb, hbp; Dylan Bernard, 0-4; Luke Henry, 1-2, 1 bb; Luke Zimmerman, 1-3; Wes May, 0-3, 1 run, fc. LOB: 11.
U 300 011 1 — 6 8 0
MT 010 000 0 — 1 8 4