Patriots battle at Regionals
The 27-win Union County Patriots met the Crusaders of Scecina Memorial in the IHSAA Regional Semifinals at Park Tudor this past Saturday.
Scecina defeated Union County, 2-0, to advance to the Regional Championship.
The Crusaders struck early with two infield singles followed by an RBI double and a sacrifice fly in the top of the first. Patriots’ pitcher Joey Weller allowed only one more hit the rest of the game while striking out six.
The Patriots responded with a leadoff single by Preston Scott. A sacrifice bunt by Justin Witter followed by a walk of Mook Shepler gave the Pats two on with one out. However, the Patriots’ early threat faltered, and they were unable to push any runs across the plate.
The Tri-Eastern Conference and Sectional 41 champions’ pitching and defense did not give the Crusader faithful any more enjoyment the rest of the game. Weller’s dominant pitching performance was aided by great plays in the field by Mason Hornung, Nate Webb, Preston Scott, and Justin Witter.
Unfortunately, the Patriots were never able to find their rally. A few near misses and a few unlucky breaks stymied the Patriots offense.
The Patriots finished the game with zero runs on five hits. Their season ended with a record of 27-4 and with two championship trophies.
After the game, when asked about the game and the season, senior Joey Weller said, “All great things come to an end, but the ride I was able to take with my teammates, my brothers, it was worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. I feel like we left our mark on Union County and hopefully, we gave the younger kids goals to shoot for. Hopefully, we set a good example as role models for kids to look up to. I loved our group and everyone who made us who we are.”
Coach Jeff Matthews agreed with Weller’s assessment, “This is the best Union County team I have ever had.”
This group of Patriots accomplished many big things this year. Without a doubt, there are bigger things ahead for these young men.
Scecina Memorial 200 000 0 - 2
Union County 000 000 0 – 0
LOB - SM – 5. UC – 10.
Battery: UC – Weller and Webb
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