A postseason run by Bishop LeBlond that the team had not experienced in a while, finally came to an end during the Class 2 baseball quarterfinal round at Phil Welch Stadium.
LeBlond fought and clawed all Wednesday long but lost 12-8 to Silex. The Owls (12-4) had an eight-run lead going into the top of the seventh and just survived an Eagles’ (9-13) comeback attempt.
Silex had a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the second, but after two costly errors by LeBlond’s infield, the Owls came away with two more. The Eagles committed five errors on the day, something LeBlond coach Myles McLaughlin thinks was key to his team’s loss.
“You gotta make plays when the ball is hit to you,” McLaughlin said. “That’s part of our problem today. You miss plays on the infield, but credit to Silex. They hit the ball and put the pressure on us. We misplayed a few balls, but that’s a hell of a team over there.”
After LeBlond freshman pitcher Chris Guldan’s defense gave up two errors in the second inning, the Owl’s offense tacked on five more earned runs in the third.
“It’s just the way the game goes some days,” McLaughlin said. “I preach a lot that you gotta control things you can control. If something bad happens behind you, you just gotta move on from it. That’s kind of the way baseball is.”
The Eagles jumped out ahead of the Owls early 1-0 when senior Adam Reardon hit an RBI single. However, it was Silex who went ahead permanently shortly after. After the Owls put three more runs up in the sixth, it looked all but over for the Eagles.
Despite being down, LeBlond was not out yet. The Eagles scored four runs off of Silex junior pitch Dillon Magill largely due to Magill hitting two batters in the inning. Just once LeBlond found itself in striking distance, the Owls hunkered down and turned a double play to end the game.
While his team was down big, McLaughlin told his guys to go out onto the field and have a good time.
“Down eight runs, you don’t have much to lose,” McLaughlin said. “That’s baseball; just go have fun. They did that and put a little run together but came up a little short.”
The Eagles haven’t tasted this type of postseason success in some time. After losing in the district championship for three straight years, the Eagles put together a perfect run through the district tournament that saw LeBlond outscore its opponents 21-0.
For LeBlond senior Jaren Guck, what his team did in his senior year was special for him and the team itself.
“I’m glad LeBlond was able to finally get a district championship after having that draught losing it three years in a row,” Guck said. “I wish we could have gone to state, but it means a lot to finally get one for this program.”