The Minco High School baseball team’s season came to an end on Friday night when the Bulldogs lost a close, high-scoring game to Hydro-Eakly in the regional playoffs at Amber-Pocasset High School.
Minco lost the game 13-11, coming up just short after recovering from deficits several times throughout the game.
“They’re just a good group of boys that never says ‘die’,” head coach Jason McQuerry said. “I thoroughly enjoyed coaching them.”
The Bulldogs had already lost to Hydro-Eakly once in the regional playoffs, and needed the victory to stay alive and advance to play Amber-Pocasset.
The Bobcats scored three runs in the top of the first inning, but Minco responded with four of their own. Hydro-Eakly put up three more in the top of the second, and then the Bulldogs kept it close with two in the bottom of the third.
Hydro-Eakly didn’t slow down offensively, scoring four runs in the top of the fourth, but a three-run home run by Cade Baade in the bottom of the fourth allowed Minco to remain within striking distance. Baade went 2-for-5 with three RBIs in the game.
Steven Whalen hit a two-RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at 11, but Minco’s pitching just couldn’t keep Hydro-Eakly from scoring runs. The Bobcats scored one in the top of the sixth and one in the top of the seventh, while holding Minco scoreless in the last two. Whalen went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and one walk.
The Bulldogs were forced to use four pitchers during the game. Tyler Rose started the game, and was followed in relief by Alex Holding, Colton Bauman and Whalen.
Asher Baade also had a good game offensively, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Ringo Garrett also went 3-for-4 and had one RBI.
Carrie Farmer didn’t get a hit in the game, but reached base three times on walks and scored twice.
Looking back on the season, McQuerry said the team didn’t reach expectations since they wanted to go to state, but there is still a lot to be pleased with.
“I could see a lot of talent there at times,” McQuerry said. “They played some really poor ball at times, but they battled back and put it together. By the end, I thought they were just as good as any team I’ve seen out there on the field.”
It was McQuerry’s last season coaching baseball. He retired several years ago, but was called back by Minco High School to coach the team this year. He said it has been a memorable and fulfilling experience. McQuerry had coached high school baseball for 29 years previously.
“I absolutely had a great time,” McQuerry said. “The administration has been great and very supportive, and the parents have been great. They’re great people.”