FORT WAYNE—After defeating Churubusco with a pair of runs in the seventh inning of the sectional semi-final game at Indiana Tech earlier in the day, the Starfires ran out of magic and fell to the hosting Bishop Luers Knights, 6-3 in the title game on Memorial Day evening.
The Knights earned their seventh sectional title and first since 2008 with the win over South Adams who had won 11 straight games up to that point. They had defeated the Bluffton Tigers, 4-2 in the second game of the semi-finals.
Luers got a run in the second and third inning to take the lead early, then two more in the fifth inning and another in the sixth and seventh to increase the lead to 6-0 heading into the Stars’ last three outs in the bottom half.
After stranding 11 runners on base in the game and managing only three hits up to the seventh, SA finally strung hits together to make a game out of the contest starting the frame with back-to-back doubles from Corey Seffernick and then Blake Fox, then a single by Collin Affolder and Shea Pyle to make the score 6-2. With runners on first and second, SA’s DH Lance Hummer struck out on a pitch in the dirt and ran to first. With the base occupied, Hummer was out but the runners ran when Luers’ catcher threw to first advancing the Stars’ runners to second and third.
A wild pitch scored Affolder to make it 6-3, but the Stars would go down on a fly ball and a strikeout to end the rally and their stellar season at 20-11 with a sectional runner-up finish.
There were several opportunities for SA to do some damage against the Knights including the first inning when freshman Chandler Ingle and Seffernick drew back-to-back walks. The next batter, Fox, hit a sharp grounder to first base and Tyler Green of Luers misplayed the ball. Taking advantage of the confusion, Ingle gambled heading to home and was thrown out.
In the second, Kyle Raugh was picked off of second base just before Dustin Wanner connected on a double that would have scored him.