CHILLICOTHE — Whiteoak Seniors Teaeten Hamilton, Evan Brill, Chase Butler, Ryan Roberts and Ty Large played their final game in a Wildcats uniform on Wednesday at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe where they lost the the Huntington Huntsmen 8-3 in the Division IV Southeast District Final.
Whiteoak Head Coach Chris Veidt was full of praise for the five Seniors on his team and made it clear that they will be missed when the Wildcats take the field at the start of next season.
“Those five seniors are what Whiteoak Baseball is all about they epitomize everything that we represent,” said Veidt. “Tough way to go out here. Unfortunately Baseball is not a one game sport but at this level it is. They have won more games in four years than any four year group in Whiteoak history and that is saying something. You go out ranked fifth in the state, winning 25 games, winning the conference championship with only one loss; all kinds of accolades. Very decorated group, very gutsy group, very intelligent and caring group, very selfless group; you can’t ask for a better group of kids. I will miss them dearly and I love them.”
With two outs in the first inning Mason Lehr stepped to the plate and singled before Ty Large earned a walk on four consecutive pitches to put runners on first and third for Whiteoak after a passed ball allowed Lehr to take second during Large’s at bat.
Evan Brill followed up with a two RBI double that plated Lehr and Large to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.
Huntington scored one in the bottom of the first inning and held the Wildcats in check in the top of the second to set up the bottom of the second in which they scored five runs and sent all nine batters to plate to take 6-2 lead.
Whiteoak loaded the bases in the top of the third inning but were unable to convert.
The Wildcats plated their final run of the game in the top of the fourth inning when Billy Oliver reached base on a walk and Hamilton followed up with an RBI double down the left field line that brought the score to 6-3.
The Wildcats loaded the bases again in the top of the fifth inning with two out but Hamilton hit a high fly ball to centerfield that ended the threat.
Huntington added one run in the fifth and one in the sixth to provide the final 8-3 score.
Each time the Wildcats got a good rhythm going offensively it was apparent that the Whiteoak fans in attendance saw a comeback in the making and according to Veidt so did the team.
“We always feel that we can come back. This team has come back som many times through the course of their careers,” said Veidt. “We absolutely believed as a group wholeheartedly that that was going to happen. Think about how it ended, we had the tying run on deck and the top of the lineup up. So we were in a position to win it. But, Baseball is a tough game and tonight they got the best of us.”
Ryan Applegate is the Sports Editor for The Times-Gazette. Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.