Nobody saw this coming, except for maybe those wearing brown and yellow.
For the first time this decade, the Tippecanoe baseball team fell short of qualifying for the district tournament this week, as they lost to Kenton Ridge 5-2 last Thursday at Tecumseh, in the Division Two sectional championship game.
Tipp had been to every district title game since at least 2010, but this year, the Red Devils could not do the little things needed to make another trip to the districts.
Kenton Ridge didn’t waste any time breaking the scoreless tie in the opening inning, as Calvin Dilbert led off the game with a first-pitch single against Tipp starter Aaron Hughes. He was moved over to second on a sacrifice and stayed at second when Tipp errored a ground ball from Bailey Armentrout.
Cameron Kettler then singled to load the bases, putting the Red Devils backs against the wall right out of the gate.
Luke Holt then walked on a full count allowing Dilbert to score, giving the Cougars a quick 1-0 lead.
Still with the bases loaded, the Cougars were looking for a big inning, but Hughes rebounded by retiring the next two batters, including a strikeout against Drew Wichael to leave the bases full and keep the margin at one run.
Tipp looked to come out ready to tie the game when Andrew Kraska led off with a double and later reached third, but was left there in a scoreless bottom of the first inning.
In the third inning, the Cougars scored again against Hughes when Armentrout was hit by a pitch and Kettler lined a double to the wall bringing around Armentrout, making it 2-0.
Another possible scoring chance for Tipp was stopped after Cole Barhorst walked but was picked off first base, then later Tipp put two runners on but could not score.
In the fourth, Tipp had their best chance to that point of scoring, when Trevor Staggs and Brad Calhoun both walked with one out, and Austin Subler reached on an error to load the bases, but Barhorst grounded into a double play, to end the threat.
The Cougars made it 3-0 in the fifth when Luke Holt launched a homerun before the Red Devils finally got on the board in the fifth.
Kraska walked and scored on a double from Rogers. He later scored on a sacrifice fly from Hughes, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
Kenton Ridge added to their lead with two runs in the sixth and Tipp could not recover.
With the loss, Tipp ends their season with a 22-6 overall record, and finished 13-2 in the GWOC American North Division. They placed second overall, and will be graduating ten seniors who have had an outstanding career.
Those seniors are Kraska, Staggs, Subler, Rogers, Calhoun, Justyn Eichbaum, Josh Riebe, Clay Barney, Evan Ford and Seth Monnin.