Surviving a big Raider bullet, Overton managed to keep its state tournament baseball hopes on track with a shaky tournament win.
Overton managed to steer the ship out of rough waters with a 4-3 victory over host McGavock Monday night in the Region 6-AAA semifinals. It was a far cry from the 11-1 crushing Overton handed the Raiders back on March 17.
It advanced the Bobcats into a region finals rematch with district foe Independence on Wednesday, tentatively at 6:30 p.m. Independence blanked Antioch 10-0. It eliminated McGavock, which had finished unbeaten in district play.
“It was real pressure packed game, it’s tough any time when you know your season is over if you lose,’’ said Coach Mike Morrison whose team is 28-9. “Their pitcher (Casey Cooper) did an excellent job against us.’’
Overton right-hander Cole Patterson scattered nine hits but retired the side in order in the seventh. He had the benefit of watching his catcher Connor Moore pick a runner, who represented the tying run, off second to end a scary sixth. He also was backed up by two Bobcat homers.
“I threw 132 pitches, I’m sure that’s the most I’ve thrown in a game this season,’’ said Patterson. “I got a little tired at the end, but it was really good to get this one.’’
He got just enough offensive support from Drew Allen who led off the game with a double and scored on Moore’s sacrifice fly. Allen then belted a towering two-run homer over the centerfield fence in the third.
But what proved to be the game-winning hit came off the bat of first baseman Cody Sutherland, who belted a home run to right in the sixth for a 4-2 lead. It negated a McGavock run in the bottom half which scored on an error.
“I hit an outside fastball, that’s what I was expecting with a 2-2 count,’’ Sutherland said, “but I didn’t realize it would turn out that big. We didn’t play too well at times, but we played well enough to win and advance. So at least we get to play Wednesday which will be for home field advantage in sectionals on Friday.’’
McGavock (15-12) outhit Overton 9-5, but left seven runners on and had another picked off, and still another runner thrown out at the plate after an overthrow in the fifth.
Leadoff batter Zack Franklin had two hits and scored two runs, while Anthony McIntyre had two RBI for McGavock.
“That was probably our best game of the year, and if we had made a couple of more plays, maybe we’re looking at a different outcome,’’ said first-year McGavock Coach Rob Brown.
“All in all, we’ve had very good season, and we finished unbeaten in our district.’’