MENNO — The Wynot Expos came up just short of the Dist. 6B baseball title Sunday.
Wynot played well above its low tournament seed over the past week to find themselves in the title game Sunday against rival Crofton.
The Expos saw a narrow 2-1 lead disappear in a flurry of Crofton hits in the bottom of the fourth inning that saw three pivotal Bluejay runs cross home plate to give them the lead for good enroute to the 6-2 win.
Fret not for the Expos (10-11) who begin state tournament play at 1 p.m. Sunday against Elk Point in the 32-team, single-elimination field.
“We have a good team and as the season went on, we got better throughout the year,” player/manager Lee Heimes said. “It was nice to see some guys step up and we had some really good chemistry out there.
“Crofton is one of our rivalry games and we seem to play them a lot. We know each other quite well and have played big games against each other. You never know what can happen. We both played well and got to the championship game and that’s all you can ask for.”
Wynot just couldn’t overcome some fielding gaffes against Crofton and bats that weren’t sure how long to stay awake.
“We had some errors that created some problems for us,” Heimes said. “We needed some more hitting and it was just a combination of the two. We had only six hits. They kept us off-balance a little bit and they did a good job pitching against us.
“We didn’t give up a lot of runs, we just didn’t score a lot of runs. When we hit the ball, we hit it right at people. They made more plays than us.
Wynot advanced to the final with a dominant, 5-1 win over No. 1 seeded Tabor in a July 28 semifinal.
“We didn’t have any errors and had timely hitting,” Heimes said. “We had really good pitching. In this tournament we had been playing really good defense and capitalizing on other teams’ mistake, but we did the opposite (in the final).”
In the Tabor win, Jackson Sudbeck pitched a complete game, six-hitter, striking out eight for the win.
Dawson Sudbeck, who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, went 2-for-5 and finished the week going 7-for-13, and Jackson Sudbeck went 2-for-2 with two RBI.
Wynot now takes on Elk Point which should come in with a big arm to deal with.
“I know they have a pitcher who has been good for quite a while,” “He got picked up last year by Garretson and pitched the semifinal game, so I know he’s a pretty good pitcher. We faced him when he used to play Renner when he first got out of college.
“He will be on the mound more than likely.”
Last year, the Expos went 1-1 at state and were eliminated in the round of 16.
Wynot has an extensive list of success at the SDABA state tournament since first entering in 1994. The Expos have won titles in 1999 and 2014 (when Heimes was managing) and were runners up in 2006 and 2008. Heimes was a player for the other three teams.
The SDABA playoffs can be streamed at http://liveticket.tv/.
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