Comeback falls short

Mindy Carls
Josh Hutton of Orion reaches third base on Cal DePorter’s single in the bottom of the fifth inning during regional semifinals on Thursday, May 15, in Edgington.

After falling behind early, the Orion Chargers rallied late.

The boys almost pulled off a win over Sherrard in the semifinals of the Rockridge regional on Thursday, May 15.

Trailing 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh, the Chargers managed to load the bases with two outs.

Unfortunately, a strikeout ended the threat and the Tigers escaped with a 6-4 win.

Sherrard had led since putting a run on the board in the top of the first.

The Chargers put two on in the bottom of the second. Joe Smolenski led off with a walk on four straight pitches.

One out later, James Matson drew a base on balls.

Zach Catour moved both runners into scoring position with  a groundout.

The next batter whiffed to end the inning.

Sherrard added two runs in the top of the third. A third Tiger also crossed the plate, but his run did not count because the Charger dugout noticed he had not touched third base. A quick throw put the runner out.

In the fourth inning, Orion had the heart of the order coming up.

Both Cody Williams and Smolenski walked on 3-0 pitches.

After throwing eight balls in a row, the Sherrard pitcher got the next batter to ground out.

Matson came up next. He also grounded out, but Williams scored on the play.

The Tigers pushed their lead to 6-1 in the top of the fifth. They scored three runs on two doubles to the fence in left field.

When they came up to bat, Orion plated another run.

One out into the inning, Josh Hutton walked on a full-count pitch.

Cal DePorter then singled into left field.

Jake Johnson hit into a fielder’s choice, which erased DePorter but scored Hutton.

The next batter slammed the ball hard at the shortstop, who dove for the ball and snagged it. He threw the batter out at first.

Orion added a run in the sixth. Ian Cooper scored when Stephen Gainey put the ball in play and the Tigers mishandled it.

Sherrard changed pitchers, and the new hurler promptly threw an illegal pitch to Catour. Gainey was awarded third and Catour, first.

One out later, Hutton walked on four straight pitches to load the bases.

The next batter fanned to end the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Johnson led off with a walk.

Williams singled into center. Kaleb Hougland went in to run for him.

The next batter drove the ball deep into center field, but not deep enough to advance the runners.

With one out, Cooper slammed a single to score Johnson.

The next batter fouled out.

Trevor Peterson walked, loading the bases for the next batter, who fouled out.