Justin Jacobs drilled a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Auburn Riverside a 1-0 win over Bellarmine Prep this afternoon in the district playoffs, ending the Lions’ season.
With runners on second and third and two outs, Jacobs drilled a 1-0 pitch deep off Bellarmine starter Harry Stenberg into the right field corner to plate pinch runner Aaron Nguyen from second base. That was the lone big mistake for Stenberg, who allowed the lone run on six hits, with five walks and seven strikeouts in going the distance.
The Lions threatened to break through in the first two innings, as Brandon Thompson walked with two outs in the first, George Foley singled and the duo advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. But Ravens starter Noah Freelund retired Michael Ota on a grounder to escape unharmed. Andrew Patubo led off the second with a walk and John Bjork reached on an error a batter later with just one out, but Freelund again escaped by striking out Paul Huiras and getting Nathan Heath to ground out.
Stenberg, meanwhile, escaped a second-and-third threat with just one out in the bottom of the third by striking out Austin Marty for the second time in the game, while Ota came up with a brilliant diving catch on Kevin Thomson’s foul pop-up to end the inning. Daniel Casanova reached third with one out in the fourth, but Stenberg struck out Gavin Hettinger and Michael Robinson to again keep the game scoreless.
The Lions threatened again in the top of the seventh, as Patubo walked and advanced to second when Matthew Jacobsen was hit by a pitch with two outs. But reliever Brady Cummings got Heath to ground out to first, allowing for the heroics in the bottom half.