The 2012 Moore County High School baseball season came to an end last Tuesday as the Raiders fell to Eagleville in the District 9A tournament.
The Raiders and the Eagles – both sent to the losers’ bracket by Cascade – needed a win in order to remain alive in post-season play. The winner would have faced Cascade once again.
The Raiders looked strong as they took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Senior Justin Durm led off the game with a single on the first pitch and then promptly stole second base against Eagle ace hurler Bryan Smith. Junior Devan Bean’s single drove Durm in.
The Raiders added to their lead in the third when junior Joshua Prater doubled to drive in classmate Dakota Bateman.
Bateman – the Raiders’ southpaw pitcher – and the Moore County defense held the Eagles to a scoreless inning despite a first inning triple by Eagleville’s Smith in the first inning and a walk and hit batter in the second.
Bateman got into trouble in the Eagleville fifth, giving up base hits to the first two Eagle batters, but then seemed to be heading to another impressive inning as he struck out the next two. But then Smith came on to single and drive in both base runners. Another base hit and an error in the Raider outfield brought Smith in and the Eagles took the lead 3-2 as the sixth inning got underway.
Eagleville added another run in the bottom of the sixth to take a 4-2 lead.
Moore County saw their season come to an end as junior Ben Harvey struck out to lead off the seventh inning and then senior Cody Cashion singled to keep the Raider hopes alive. Durm then hit into a double play and the Raider season was history.
Despite the heartbreak of the loss, the Raiders had one of their most successful seasons in several years, and will return several starters next year. As if to prove the good season, four Raiders were named to the District 9A All-District team. They were senior shortstop/third baseman Justin Durm, and juniors catcher Devan Bean; pitcher, first baseman Dakota Bateman and first baseman/third baseman Joshua Prater.
Written by PHIL GATTO, Contributing Sports Writer