Stars move past Jets in sectional
Stars' shortstop Scott Hoeppner tags out Dalton Combs as he slides in attempting the steal. (Photo by Dylan Malone)
FORT WAYNE— A year removed from Adams Central's back-to-back sectional titles, the Jets made an early exit from the tournament last night at the hands of the South Adams Starfires, 8-5.
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The Jets were the team favored to win the sectional this season but perhaps those who assumed that should have looked at this season's resume where the Stars have had AC's number two times before last night and picked up right where they left off.
It was a diplomatic end after last season's sectional happenings as the Starfires know full well what it is like to be the favorite team only to be turned away in the first round after last year's 3-2 loss in 10 innings at the hands of Woodlan.
Last night, coach Dave Neuenschwander and his group of Jets felt the sting of facing a team who may just be better than people realize now extending their winning streak to 10 games and clearly peaking at the right time.
After the game before with Eastside and Churubusco headed into an overtime decision that saw the Eagles come away with a walk-off victory, AC and SA seemed to be headed for a similar fate. There were five lead changes in the game as the contest seemed to favor both teams at different times in the game until the seventh inning with the Jets up, 5-4 and South Adams up to the plate for one last shot.
The Stars had been in this position twice before this season down to AC in the final innings only to come back from big deficits and shock the Jets. When Stars' relief pitcher Dustin Wanner stepped to the plate to lead off the seventh and drew a walk, there was a palpable taste in the air coming from the AC fans that felt a lot like "here we go again."
The next batter was freshman Chandler Ingle who hit to short stop on a ground ball but the throw was high and went to the fenceline sending Wanner to third and Ingle safely on first with nobody out. SA catcher Corey Seffernick came up to the plate next and delivered an Isaac Soldner curveball to the right side of the field that snuck through tying the game at 5-5 when Wanner scored but the Stars were not done yet.