Junior Hayden Compton takes a vicious cut. (Sarah Neltner’20/Media staff)
After edging Archbold, the CA baseball squad’s incredible postseason run came to an end on Friday, May 25, as Coldwater topped the resilient Vikings in the regional finals.
Academy traveled to Elida Middle School on Thursday, May 24, for a clash with Archbold. Sophomore Noah Glimcher took the mound and attempted to contain the Blue Streaks’ explosive offense, but the Vikes fell behind early after giving up multiple extra base hits. In addition, CA struggled at the plate and trailed 3-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
The Vikings scored a run to cut the deficit in half, but the Blue Streaks got two outs and could taste victory. Junior Hayden Compton singled, and senior Max Dreisbach followed suit, putting the pressure on Archbold. Then, junior Evan Scott won a war with the Blue Streaks’ pitcher, drawing a walk to load the bases.
Senior Davis Friedman entered the batter’s box. He quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count, and the Archbold faithful erupted, its team just one strike away from victory. Friedman had other plans, as he rifled a shot to right-center field on the next pitch. Compton and Dreisbach both scored, and Academy’s dugout rushed the field, the Vikes’ season preserved by the 4-3 win.
The next day, Friday, May 25, CA returned to Elida Middle School to battle Coldwater with a trip to the state final four at Huntington Park on the line. Unfortunately, the Cavaliers proved to be too much, defeating the Vikings, 7-2. Coldwater held Academy’s offense in check, and swiped nine bases in the victory. Senior Ryan Mitchell made multiple nice stops at second base and did all he could to will his team, but the Vikes couldn’t quite keep up with the Cavaliers.
It was a historic season for the boys. CA entered tournament play as the #12 seed, but proved that it had been woefully undervalued by winning districts. The Vikings won five postseason games and were one of the final 8 teams standing in the state out of 187.
The senior class of Dreisbach, Friedman, Mitchell, and Matt Saling will be greatly missed, but the future is bright. Academy has a wealth of talent returning, and will look to make another run at a state title next year.