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University Christian grab close playoff victory

By By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
May 1, 2002
HEIDELBERG A breeze blew over the field as every University Christian School fan breathed a sigh of relief after the final out of a 12-11 win over Heidelberg Academy in the first game of the MPSA Class 1A Central State playoff series on Monday afternoon.
Trailing 12-0 in the bottom of the sixth, the Rebels rallied for 11 runs but came up just short to the visiting Flames.
UCS' Jeremy Phillips pitched five scoreless innings and struck out 11 batters before putting the game in the hands of some shaky relief pitching.
The Rebels had good chances to score in the first two innings of the game but could not come up with the clutch hits they needed, leaving the bases loaded each inning.
The Flames took a 1-0 lead into the fifth inning and rallied for five more in the inning. Josh Buckner singled to start the inning. He moved to third on a couple of wild pitches. After a walk, Trey Butts laid down a bunt. The throw to the plate was in plenty of time to get Buckner but the catcher took his eye off the throw and dropped the ball to allow Buckner to score and make it 2-0.
Ross Myers followed with a double to knock in Daniel Wheat and make the score 3-0. After a walk, Jase Conway grounded out to bring in Butts. Phillips helped his own cause later in the inning with hit to bring in two runners and make the score 6-0 after five innings.
The Flames stretched the lead with six more runs in the sixth inning. Wheat hit a home run to make the score 7-0. Butts reached on an error. After two walks loaded the bases, Conway came through with a two-run double to make it 9-0. An error on a ball hit by Kevin Ward allowed two more Flames to score. Allen Williams knocked in the final run of the inning to make the score 12-0.
In danger of getting beat by the run-rule, the Rebels finally got the bats cranked up. They scored 11 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to put pressure on UCS.
J.R. Stephenson singled to start the rally. Mason Key followed with a single to give Heidelberg runners and first and second. The next batter hit a ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher fielded the ball and threw the ball into left field while trying to get the runner at third base. Stephenson scored to make the score 12-1.
After a walk, Blake Bass doubled in two more runs. Heath Ainsworth followed with a hit that brought in two more runs to make the score 12-5. After a walk, Matthew Andrews came up with a three-run homer to right field to cut the lead to 12-8.
The Rebels weren't finished yet. Brooks Lewis followed with a single. Stephenson walked and Mason singled to center to knock in Lewis. The throw to third trying to get Stephenson sailed over the fence to allow Stephenson to score and Mason to go to third. Jeremy Eason struck out but the ball got away from the catcher to allow Mason to score and Eason to got to first. Brent Welch grounded the next ball to short and was nearly doubled up but the throw went wild and into the dugout to allow Welch to go to third. A strikeout left Welch stranded at second with the Flames leading 12-11.
Heidelberg couldn't get much of anything going in the last inning. A great diving play in left robbed Ryan Aultman of a hit and the Rebels left a man on first in the final inning.
Heidelberg drops to 15-6 and trails in the best-of-three series. The Rebels will travel to play UCS on Thursday at 4:30 with the third game, if needed, to follow.