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Prep Baseball: Dragons blanked in season-ender

Litchfield's Owen Boerema delivers a pitch to Watertown-Mayer's Ed Iten in Thursday's Section 5AA tournament at Optimist Park in Litchfield. Jake Schultz / Tribune1 / 6
Litchfield's Afton Kaping tries to turn a double play in Thursday's Section 5AA tournament opener at Optimist Park in Litchfield. Jake Schultz / Tribune2 / 6
Litchfield's Sam Tibbits dives back into first base and avoids a tag from Watertown-Mayer first baseman Nolan Anderson in Thursday's Section 5AA tournament opener at Optimist Park in Litchfield. Jake Schultz / Tribune3 / 6
Litchfield's Afton Kaping fields a throw at second base to nab a stealing Watertown-Mayer runner in Thursday's Section 5AA tournament opener at Optimist Park in Litchfield. Jake Schultz / Tribune4 / 6
Litchfield's John Kiehn makes contact in Thursday's Section 5AA tournament at Optimist Park in Litchfield. Jake Schultz / Tribune5 / 6
Litchfield's Owen Boerema throws a second inning pitch in Thursday's Section 5AA tournament opener against Watertown-Mayer at Optimist Park in Litchfield. Jake Schultz / Tribune6 / 6

LITCHFIELD - The beauty of baseball is that, on any given day, the game is subject to volatile randomness and the baseball gods. To repeat the old cliche: anything can happen.

That can also be the harsh reality of the game, and the Litchfield baseball team was on the wrong end of the events in Thursday's Section 5AA game against Watertown-Mayer.

The Dragons couldn't string together a rally and could only put together four hits despite solid contact throughout in a 3-0 loss to the Royals at Optimist Park that marked the end of their season.

"That's how the game goes sometimes," Litchfield head coach Jeff Wollin said. "I thought we hit some line drives and had some solid contact, but we couldn't string anything together. We had plenty of hard-hit outs, but we didn't get that bloop single or infield hit today."

Royals pitcher Drew Thibault kept the Dragons scoreless for seven innings, striking out two and not allowing any walks.

Litchfield's best scoring opportunity came in the fourth inning and trailing 1-0. The Dragons put two runners on base with one out after a pair of base hits by Sam Tibbits and Zach Carlson.

With two outs, Seth Renner lined a ball sharply up the middle, but right to the Royals second baseman for the final out of the inning.

Minutes later, Watertown-Mayer added two insurance runs off Dragons starter Owen Boerema to claim a 3-0 lead.

Wollin thought Boerema matched Thibault in his performance on the mound, which spanned seven innings and yielded one earned run on seven hits with seven strikeouts.

"Owen also pitched well, but they put together a couple of rallies that made the difference," Wollin said. "He has those guys off-balance most of the game."

For any team that gets eliminated from postseason play, the end of the season comes all too quickly. To Litchfield, that felt all too true.

"Your season always comes to an end too soon," Wollin said. "And when you don't score and the other pitcher throws under 80 pitches, those final seven innings go by even quicker."

W-M 3, Litchfield 0

W-M 100 020 0-3 7 2

Litchfield 000 000 0-0 4 2

Hitting - Watertown-Mayer: Nick Nolan 2-3 rbi-2, Jadrien Keavy 1-4 2b r rbi ... Litchfield: Tyler Sangren 1-3, Sam Tibbits 1-3, Zach Carlson 2-3

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Watertown-Mayer: Drew Thibault (W) 7-4-0-0-0-2 ... Litchfield: Owen Boerema (L) 7-7-3-1-1-7

Curt Hogg

Curt Hogg is a sports reporter at the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016. 

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