SHELBY — Galion’s baseball season ended Thursday in a 7-5 nine-inning loss to Margaretta in a Division III district semifinal
In a back-and-forth game, the Polar Bears ended the Tigers 2017 season on one swing, a two-run walkoff homer.
Galion’s Ryan Talbott took the second pitch of the game to left field for a leadoff single and was moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Garrett Kuns delivered a double and Mac Spears a single before Will Donahue scored Talbott on a sacrifice fly. Aaron Barnhart struck out swinging to end the first. The Tigers stranded two, but led 1-0. Margaretta would go 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first.
In the third inning, Galion would get the bats going again against the Polar Bears. Utz would single, followed by another Kuns single. Kuns was caught stealing second. Spears reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second to put himself in scoring position. Donahue delivered a single that scored Utz and Spears to put Galion up 3-0. Margaretta got its first hit with two outs in the bottom of the third, a single and then had runners on first and second after Spears hit the next batter. The Bears then delivered a bases clearing double and cut the Tigers’ lead to 3-2.
The next three innings were fairly quiet for Galion, which recorded just two hits. With Polar Bears caught up and led 5-3 after six innings.
Galion, bounced back in the top of the seventh inning. Devin Baughn reached on an error on the Bears’ third baseman. Chase Castline would be hit by a pitch, with a balk allowing him to advance to second base and scoring Baughn. The Tigers’, trailing 5-4, saw Talbott flyout to right field for the first out. Utz stepped up to the plate to deliver an RBI single, scoring Castline. Spears would get another single but the inning and the Galion threat would come to an end when Kuns, who reached on a fielder’s choice, would get caught stealing third base. The Tigers held the Bears in the bottom half of the seventh to send the game into extra innings at 5-5.
Galion stranded a runner at third in the top of the ninth but could not score. Margaretta stepped up in the bottom of the ninth and were down to two outs after a strikeout. Kuns hit the next batter, forcing head coach Phil Jackson to put Talbott back on the mound. That’s when the game end as a two-run, walk-off homerun cleared the left field fence.
The season will continue for the No. 9 Margaretta Polar Bears as they look to continue their Cinderella postseason run against the No. 2 seeded Clear Fork Colts. Clear Fork dominated the Edison Chargers 10-1 to advance to the district finals.
Mac Spears started the game for Galion and went five innings, giving up six hits and four runs while striking out three, walking one and hitting one batter. Talbott relieved and pitched an inning, allowing a run and striking out one. Kuns pitched the next 2.1 innings, giving up a hit, striking out two, walking one and hitting the batter in the bottom of the ninth. Talbott came back in and recorded no outs and took the loss after giving up the two-run blast.
Stats: Talbott: 1B, R; Utz: 2-1B and 2B, R, RBI; Kuns: 1B, 2B; Spears: 3-1B, R; Donahue: 1B, 3 RBI; Baughn: R; Castline: R.
Galion: five runs, ten hits, two errors and seven left on base; Margaretta: seven runs, nine hits, an error and five left on base.
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