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Patriots Defeat Edinburgh, Fall in Final

June 5, 2011
By Shane Lightfoot of Bethesda Christian High School

On a sunny day with temperatures near 100 degrees, around 80 Bethesda fans made the near 2-hour trek to Shakamak High School on Saturday afternoon to support the Bethesda Patriots, who entered Regional play with a 13-8 record and a ten-game winning streak. Those fans watched the Patriots gut out a solid 9-5 win over Edinburgh in the 1 p.m. Regional Semi-Final game. 

After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning, Bethesda responded with 2 runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.  What ensued over the next few innings was a grueling test of mind and matter that saw the resilient Patriots find a way to win over an Edinburgh team that would not go away easily. 

The Patriots outfield of Junior Luke Gard, Freshman John Mlagan and Sophomore Brandon Gill repeatedly ran down fly balls and made solid plays that kept the Lancers from scoring and took away opportunities for them to tighten the game.   Senior Drew Bennett, battling the elements and
a sore back, went the distance for the complete game victory.  Senior Tyler Sims broke the game open and sealed it with a timely home run in the bottom of the 6th inning.  The win put the Patriots in the Regional Final at 8 p.m. against a young North Central (Farmersburg) team that won the 11 a.m. Semi-Final matchup against Rising Sun, 5-0.

In the Championship Game, with Senior Tyler Sims on the mound, the Patriots found themselves down 3-0 after the first 2 innings.  The Thunderbirds, perhaps the most solid hitting team from top to bottom that the Patriots faced all year, successfully put the ball in the play and found ways to score, including a home run in the first inning.  In the end, those 3 runs were all that the Thunderbirds needed to seal the Regional title. 

Sims settled in and pitched well the rest of the way, but the Patriots' offense struggled against North Central's pitcher, and only senior, Craig Bell.  Bethesda had opportunities to score early, but could not get the hits they needed against the hard-throwing Bell, who was solid in the complete game victory.  Sophomore Nathan Buck scored the Patriots lone run late in the game on a passed ball.

The Patriots finish a very successful season with an overall record of 14-9 and a Sectional title.  Bethesda also says goodbye to a terrific group of seniors who will be hard to replace, including Drew Bennett, Tyler Sims, Levi Marshall, Nick Beard and Shawn Sargent.  North Central (Farmersburg),
now 24-5, moves on to next week's Semi-State where they will play Loogootee (20-10-1) who defeated South Central (Elizabeth) 5-4 to win their own Regional.

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