West Union was not able to complete their astonishing run in the 2009 playoffs, as the Eagles fell to St. Aloysius 6-0 and 13-2 in the state championship last Thursday and Friday.
After falling in game one, the Eagles were able to score the first two runs of game off of an RBI single by Hunter McQuary and a sac fly by Taylor English. The Flash were able to respond, tying the game in the third, the pouring on 11 runs over the final two innings to run rule West Union.
The pitching really got us here and we struggled, that’s all you can say,” West Union head coach Ashley Russell said after the loss. “We just didn’t do all the things we have done this year.”
Will Basil entered Friday night’s contest after pitching eight innings Monday night in the Eagles win over Ingomar to make it to Jackson. The sophomore struggled, pitching 3.5 innings and giving up seven runs off four hits, including a triple that helped St. Aloysius lengthen their lead to 7-2.
I told him he got us here, along with his teammates,” Russell said. “He didn’t’ have his best stuff, and I think he was just tired.”
The Flash’s pitching staff caused plenty of problems of their own, only allowing West Union eight hits in the two games, taking away another important part of the Eagles’ success in the playoffs.
“We normally hit the baseball well, and they just did a good job,” Russell said. “Let’s not take anything away from their pitchers. We just didn’t hit the baseball well.”
Despite the loss, Russell has watched his team develop into one that he can be proud of, especially coming off of their best year in school history. The relationships within the team attributed to their success this season.
“I think we have a great relationship with our players, and that’s our entire coaching staff, and that’s awesome,” Russell said. “It hurts, we lost, but I think it won’t be long before we’re back and will be really proud of our year.
Finishing the season at 18-14, Russell will have plenty to look forward to in 2010, as he will lose only three seniors from this year’s squad.
“Whenever you’re the north half champions, you’re going to have a lot of momentum going into next season,” Russell said. “We had some really great kids that believed in a goal, and we made it down here. Couldn’t take anything away from these kids because they fought all year long and this is the best year West Union has ever had.”