BRYAN — Edgerton ace Corey Everetts was visibly upset with himself after letting up the game-tying run via a wild pitch in the top of the seventh.
The senior made up for it big time with a clutch at-bat to push the Bulldogs to their first district final since 2015.
With two outs and teammate Kadyn Picillo on first, Everetts hit a deep flyball to left field. A catching error on the play brought home Picillo and gave Edgerton a 3-2 walk-off Division IV district baseball semifinal victory on Wednesday at Sumpter Field.
“I was really frustrated with myself. I let one kind of get by, go down in the dirt. I was hoping he’d swing at it, but then it was just kind of a dirt ball,” Everetts said. “When I went up to bat, I was just going to pick out a pitch. And I knew we had some more (velocity) on the mound (in Jaxon Richmond), and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
“He just threw me a curveball in the zone, and kind of just got lucky. I hit it and I just got lucky.”
The Bulldogs (17-10), the No. 2 seed in the Bryan District, advanced to play No. 5 North Central (12-6) in a district championship 5 p.m. Friday at Sumpter Field. The Eagles upset No. 1 Toledo Christian 3-0 behind Sam Moore’s no-hitter in the nightcap Wednesday.
“It’s amazing. My mind’s blown right now,” Everetts said. “I don’t even have any words. Crazy.”
“It’s awesome and it means a lot to the kids,” Edgerton coach Michael Gilliland said. “And just looking at the community that backed us and supported us today was amazing. It means a ton to these kids to play meaningful baseball and put on a good show for the community.”
Edgerton and the No. 3-seeded Locomotives, who finished the season 12-9, traded blows in the sixth and seventh innings.
Down 1-0, Montpelier’s Landon Fackler laced an RBI groundball single to left and just over the glove of shortstop Cory Herman to score Griffin Cooley (hit by pitch) to tie it at 1-all.
The Bulldogs quickly answered to retake the lead after a nice play from Montpelier.
The Locos threw out Noah Weaver (walk) on a Nate Swank single to give the game two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
Pinch hitter Dylan Bass, however, came up clutch.
Bass hit a groundball down the third-base line that just stayed fair to drive in Swank and give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead entering the seventh.
“That was huge. He’s a kid who his year maybe didn’t go as he saw it, but I knew that I could trust him in a big moment and he was going to come through for us,” Gilliland said. “(We talk about) competing with two strikes and putting the ball in play, and he did a great job (with that) and kept it fair by I don’t know how much.
“But, it’s huge to come off the bench and pick us up that way.”
The Locos did not give up, though.
Starting pitcher Trent Thorp, who matched Everetts on the bump in the pitchers’ duel, slapped an infield single with one out. The senior then advanced to second on a passed ball, got to third on Hayden Sharps’ groundout to the right side of the infield and scored on an Everetts wild pitch to tie the game at 2-2.
Relief pitcher Jaxon Richmond came in and quickly got two groundouts before Picillo took four straight balls for a two-out walk, with Everetts’ swing to left field in the frame following immediately after.
Everetts also had another big hack with two outs in the third inning to score the game’s first run.
Everetts dropped a hit into right field that got under the fielder’s glove and legged out a triple to score Caden Leppelmeier (leadoff single) from second, giving Edgerton a 1-0 lead.
On the bump, Everetts only allowed three hits, two runs and one walk and fired seven strikeouts.
Weaver had a single in the second and Quentin Blue added a single in the fifth.
“I was doing good on the mound. I missed a pitch here and there, but then I had my defense,” Everetts said. “... They were helping out and helping out getting hits.”
Thorp threw six innings and fanned three batters. He only allowed six hits, three walks and two runs. Fackler finished with two singles to pace Montpelier’s offense.
“(Thorp) did a great job for us. He actual came in sick and throwing up all day yesterday, and today we got some fluids in him and he finally ate a little bit,” Montpelier coach Toby Hutchison said. “Jaxon is probably obviously my No. 1, but Trent is a 1A. They’re very comparable.
“It was a pitchers’ duel. Everetts threw a great game, Edgerton’s a great team. Both of us had to produce runs and make things happen. Little things just kind of cost us... But, my guys played their hearts out.”
The Locos also saw three seniors — Thorp, Easten Richmond and Garrett Girrell — play their last game in a Montpelier uniform.
“Losing three seniors this year, I’m going to miss them a lot,” Hutchison said. “Big game that we could’ve won. Just tonight wasn’t our night, didn’t come out on top. But, I’m still proud of each and every one of them and we’ll get back at it next year.”
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