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Dixie Meets Shawnee in Playoffs
J. C. Tilton

Number 7 seeded Dixie squared off against Shawnee in the first round of the state tournament last week. It was an exciting game for the fans with the winning run being scored in the last inning. Shawnee started the season with high expectations, with 7 seniors on the squad. But injuries to some key players dashed their hopes early in the season. Dixie has been bitten by the injury bug late in the season with one player losing three teeth on a bad ground ball. So both teams had patchwork lineups going into the playoffs.

Dixie put Ryan Hayes on the mound while Shawnee went with Southern. Both pitchers gave up runs in the first inning. Shawnee put two runners across the plate and to answer Dixie's Ryan Hayes helped his cause with a single that scored an RBI, while Nick Bertke hit a triple to bring him home and even up the score. The second and third innings were scoreless. Shawnee found the plate again in the 4th inning scoring two runs, one of them an RBI single by Logan Cottingim. Right fielder Dusty Staggs put an end to the Shawnee half of the inning with a fantastic diving catch in right field for the third out. With two outs, Dixie appeared to have their third when Nick Miller swung on an outside pitch for a third strike. But the catcher could not handle the ball and it got away from him. Miller alertly hustled to first and beat the throw; extending the inning. Dixie then answered with 3 runs to pull ahead for the first time.

Shawnee hit the ball hard in the 5th inning with a triple and a homerun. They tied up the game at 5 apiece and then neither team scored until the 7th inning. Dixie put down Shawnee 1-2-3 in the top of the 7th and then went to work at the plate in the last half of the inning. Curtis Tuttle lead off the inning with a double, Robbie Brewer hit a single, and then Ryan Hayes finished what he had started with a sacrifice fly that scored Tuttle for the game winning run.

The Shawnee coach was asked for comment, “I thought we played a decent game, just had a few errors and errors cost runs. This is the third time we lost to Dixie and each game has been a battle to the end -we just didn't make our plays.” He was asked about the teams homerun, “Nick Powell hit it and he is our teams MVP for the season, he's been a nice ball player.” On the season, “It really didn't go the way we expected it to, we've been fighting the gremlins all year. We got caught by the injury bug, the best two pitchers went down. Southern got the start today - he was supposed to be our closer, but he only gave up 2 earned runs. “

Coach Bingham lived to fight another day, “For the seniors it is their first tournament win. Dane Sadowski had to play first base for the first time due to an injury. He did a heck of a job, made every play to him. Robbie Brewer made good plays at third. Nick Bertke made some throwouts today at catcher. Dusty Staggs made a great catch in the outfield. Ryan Sinnamon has had limited playing time to this point made a nice catch in the outfield and had two good hits. All around it was a really good game, I was proud of the kids.” Comments:

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