The Paper photo by Lori Poteet 
Luke Mangold scored Crawfordsville’s second run off a wild pitch.
The Paper photo by Lori Poteet
Luke Mangold scored Crawfordsville’s second run off a wild pitch.

LINDEN - Despite a back-and-forth game, Western Boone had two key hits in their Sectional 25 game against Crawfordsville that lifted them just above the Athenians 6-4.

The first came in the top of the first inning. John Bromberek had two runners on for him as he stepped up to the plate. He launched a three-run homer to right-center to give the Stars an early 3-0 lead.

“We failed to execute a few pitches and we missed a couple scoring opportunities,” Athenian coach John Froedge said. “But give them credit, they got a few key hits. We just didn’t win today.”

The second key hit came in the Star’s seventh-inning rally, after Crawfordsville went up 4-3. Lance Oldham had bases loaded. His seven-pitch at bat, one of many long plate appearances for the Stars, ended in a long double to right-center and scored the two runs the Stars needed to get the advantage.

The rally came after three innings of leaving Star runners in scoring position. Hurler Johnson ended four straight innings with strikeouts, two of them looking. He finished the night with 10 strikeouts total.

“To come in and shut them down like he did all year was outstanding,” Froedge said.

The Crawfordsville scoring opportunities which came to fruition were off of a Star error and a wild pitch. After two innings of three up, three down, the Athenian offense came to life with a Brendan Dowell single. Star pitcher Nathaniel Bye more than doubled his pitch count in the fourth inning, following up the hit with two walks. Josh Blackburn drew an error from the shortstop to score Brendan Dowell, while a Bye wild pitch scored the other two for Crawfordsville.

Chase Dowell followed Luke Mangold in after the catcher had trouble finding the wild pitch. These runs tied the game 3-3.

“I rounded him but he saw it and made a great decision,” Froedge said. “We did some good things to get it tied on hardly anything.”

Despite Crawfordsville scoring another in the sixth, the Stars’ three hits in the seventh proved too much. The bottom of the seventh saw the Athenians’ closest chance at revenge when Caden Jones drove one to left field but Felix Martinez stretched for the catch and halted the two Athenian runners.

“Even after falling behind today, we didn’t panic, we just kept pushing it, got it back even and took the lead,” Froedge said. “I’d put our money on us anytime, anywhere with a lead going into the seventh inning but it just did not work out today.”

This was the last game for seniors Ethan McKinney, Sam Lucas, Dalton King and Westin Evans.

“Our players put their heart and soul and every ounce of effort into every day of this season, and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Froedge said. “In particular, our four seniors did a great job this year. Really proud of them, the way they contributed all year.”

The Class 3A No. 3 Athenians ended the season 25-5.