The Ellison baseball team closed out the season at home with a 12-1 loss against District 8-6A champion Waco Midway on Friday.
“It’s just one of those seasons that just didn’t pan out the way you drew it up at the beginning of the year,” head coach Ty Oppermann said. “A couple players didn’t pan out the way we expected; our lineup didn’t look the way we expected but they played hard all year and gave it all they had.”
Midway brought in an early run in the top of the first.
In the bottom of the inning, an RBI single from the Eagles’ Carlos Felix — who went 1 for 3 on the night — brought home Kenneth Rodriguez for the only Ellison run of the game.
The Panthers, who won all 14 of their District 8-6A games, took back the lead in the top of the second with a bases-loaded walk, 2-1. Midway added another run in the top of the third to take a 3-1 lead into the fifth.
Errors added up for the Eagles (6-8 8-6A) in the top of the inning as Midway added two more runs for a 5-1 lead. Ellison left two in scoring position in the bottom of the inning.
Ellison starting pitcher Preston Mills threw 97 pitches in five complete innings with four strikeouts before the Eagles brought in reliever Zachary Young in the top of the sixth.
Young quickly retired the side in his first inning of work but the flood gates opened in the seventh.
Midway found all the holes in the Eagles’ defense and brought in seven runs to solidify its 12-1 win before the long inning concluded.
“We played a good team,” Oppermann said. “We just let that one get away from us at the end right there.
No team wants to end a season on a loss but Oppermann isn’t too worried about the future of Ellison baseball.
The Eagles, who finished in fifth place two games behind Belton, are losing six seniors but after the senior night pregame, Oppermann is excited for his players’ futures.
“I’m listening to their careers — nursing, engineering — what they’re planning is awesome,” he said. “They’re wanting to go do these things to give them agood foundation.
“The fact that for the second straight year all our seniors have college plans to go get an education, that’s what’s important.”
And while some teams may worry about losing such a core group of guys, Oppermann is confident in the team he has returning next year.
“I’m excited about next year,” he said. “As much as I’m disappointed we didn’t make it out this year, we’re going to be really good next year.”
FRIDAY'S 8-6A BASEBALL
- Copperas Cove 12, Belton 2
- Killeen 5, Harker Heights 3
- San Angelo Central 9, Shoemaker 1
- Waco Midway 12, Ellison 1
FINAL 8-6A STANDINGS
y-Waco Midway 14-0
x-Copperas Cove 10-4
x-San Angelo Central 9-5
Harker Heights 3-11
x-clinched playoff spot