The Griffin Christian Crusaders baseball team came close to clinching a GISA state playoff berth, but it wasn’t meant to be as the Arlington Christian Eagles defeated the Crusaders 10-9 Monday evening in Region 2-AAA action at Nix Field.
“We got close, but we couldn’t finish it out,” said Crusaders head coach Chris Piland.
Griffin Christian (7-9 overall, 1-6 region) has now lost five straight games and with this loss, the Crusaders are knocked out of playoff contention. GCHS needed to beat Arlington Monday to keep itself alive for the playoffs.
All that’s left for the Crusaders to do is finish out their suspended game with Stratford Academy at Nix Field today at 5 p.m. The Crusaders were leading 12-11 in the top of the fifth inning, with Stratford at bat.
The key to Monday’s game was a big offensive spurt by Arlington. The Eagles scored four runs in the first, two in the second and three in the fourth to take a 9-2 lead at one point. The Crusaders tried to climb their way back in the contest, scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut Arlington’s lead to 9-5. The big blow in the inning was a 2-run double by Crusaders catcher Alex Lowry.
Matthew Moore’s RBI groundout got GCHS within three at 9-6 in the sixth, but Arlington got a suicide squeeze in the top of the seventh to push the lead back up to four runs at 10-6.
That was a big insurance run for Arlington, because Lowry hit a 3-run homer to left-center to cut the lead to 10-9 with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Crusaders then got a groundout and a strikeout to end the game and their postseason hopes.
Lowry went 3-for-4 with 6 RBIs Monday and was a triple away from the cycle. Lee Neidert and Mitch Kimbell both went 2-for-4 on the evening.