Pettisville fell victim to a strong pitching performance from North Central’s Ethan Beard who went all seven innings, as the Blackbirds saw their season come to an end with a 7-3 loss to the Eagles in a Division IV baseball sectional final Thursday in Pettisville.
The Eagles built a 7-1 advantage through four innings of play.
They marked two right away in the first with Ben Turner’s two-run single, another in the second on Quin Burt’s sacrifice fly, and one in the third by way of one of three Kaiden Russell runs batted in.
Pettisville scored an unearned run in the bottom of the third to make it 4-1, when Gideon Myers’ two-out fly ball was dropped by the North Central right fielder, bringing home Blake Eyer.
The first two batters reached for the Eagles in the fourth. Then after a pitching change with Josh Horning relieving Isaac St. John, Ben Pettit walked loading the bases.
A Zach Hayes ground out scored a run, then Russell’s two-run single made it 7-1. Horning would fan the next two batters to avoid further damage.
The Blackbirds took advantage of some Eagle errors in the home half of the sixth. Jake King reached on an error with one out, as did Brayden Barrett and Anthony Smith loading the bases.
Eyer’s fielder’s choice to second made the second out but scored a run, followed by a St. John single that scored pinch-runner Josh Basselman to pull them within 7-3. Horning was hit by a pitch to reload the bases, but Beard stopped the bleeding by striking out Myers.
Both teams went down in order in the seventh.
Beard earned the win after allowing three unearned runs on three hits with six strikeouts to zero walks. St. John suffered the loss.
Russell (2 for 3) had three RBIs for the Eagles, while Turner (1 for 3) drove in two runs. Eyer, Horning and St. John had the Blackbird hits with Eyer scoring a run.
Pettisville closes the 2021 campaign at 12-8.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.