POLAND — Tri-Town fought through adversity Sunday in its Zone 3 quarterfinal matchup with Rogers Post.

Tri-Town led by a run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Zach Johnson took first base as he was hit by a pitch. Looking to get into scoring position, Johnson took off for second, but as he slid head-first, he hit his left shoulder into the bag and he stayed down as the game ground to a halt.

Johnson left the game in an ambulance, but his teammates responded with their bats when the game resumed. Jake Simard smacked a double to score Brandon Ludwig, who had came on to replace Johnson. Simard came around to score on a Tanner Marston single, and Tri-Town added seven more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning in a 10-0, seven-inning victory.

“Zachary is a really important player on this team, he’s a postgrad and a leader,” Tri-Town coach Hal Bridgham said. “He leads by example and he will be sorely missed. He’s a strong player.”

But Bridgham also knew his players would respond to seeing a teammate and friend go down.

“Our kids have persevered all year through high school and here,” Bridgham said. “We have a lot of kids can make plays and a lot of kids that can hit the ball. They are very optimistic, if you make a little mistake, sometimes we can take advantage of that. I have utmost respect for that team and players on how they conducted themselves.”


Kaleb Bridgham had the big hit in the sixth inning with a two-run double with the bases loaded. Lucas Johnson reached on a error and a run came home. Rogers Post pitching struggled in the inning, with three more runs coming in via walks, and another on a wild pitch.

“They put the ball in play, they hit the ball very well today,” Rogers coach Troy Crane said. “That’s a very good hitting ball team. Ian (MacFawn) threw very well for them and they used a bad situation for the good.”

The game started as a pitching duel. MacFawn, who went all seven innings, allowed one hit — a double by Corey Henderson in the fifth inning. He also struck out five. Nate Pushard got the start for Rogers Post, going the first four innings allowing three runs.

“I felt confident with my teammates obviously and I have one of the best defenses playing behind me,” MacFawn said. “I started to work my fast ball in early, I tried to get ahead with that then went to the curveball which worked alright. Tanner Marston called a good game (behind the plate.)”

Pushard lost his momentum during the stoppage of play in the bottom of the fourth inning.

“Nate tightened up during the break and we couldn’t get him stretched back out,”Crane said. “I tried telling these guys it’s only a baseball game. I know they are competitive and everybody is ultra competitive, but it’s only a baseball game. There are life skills that come out of this stuff that we will take forever.”


Lew Jensen relieved Pushard in the bottom of the fifth and Mickey Lawrence came in the bottom of the sixth for Rogers Post.

Billy Bickford had an RBI single in the bottom of the third inning for Tri-Town.

Tri-Town will face No. 1 Bessey Motors on Monday at the Gouin Complex in Paris at 4 p.m. It will be Tri-Town’s fourth game in as many days.

“I hope our pitching can hold up, and I know Bessey is a formidable team,” Bridgham said. “They are very competitive, and it will be a very competitive game tomorrow.”

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