Louisville Falls in Sectional Final at Massillon – Baseball
Massillon 3, Louisville 2
The 5th Seed Louisville Leopards fell to the host 4th Seed Massillon Tigers 3-2 in the DI Canton Sectional Finals Friday at Carl “Ducky” Schroeder Field. The loss snaps the Leopards 9-game winning streak as they fall to 18-7 on the year.
Corey White batted 2-for-2 and drove in Tyler Adams from third in the first inning to give Louisville an early 1-0 lead. Adams was hit by a pitch to start the game and advanced to second when Bryce Zuppe was also hit by a pitch. The next two Leopards batters recorded outs and Adams stole third during White’s at-bat. White singled to right on the next pitch.
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Louisville tacked on to their lead in the third inning. Zuppe drew a 1-out walk and then stole second after there were two outs. On the next pitch, Brody Hahn singled on a line drive to center field scoring Zuppe from second base to put the Leopards ahead 2-0.
Then, in the fifth inning, the wheels came off. With two outs, Aidan Longwell hit a ground ball to Adams at Shortstop who fired to first. On the bang-bang play, the field umpire ruled Longwell safe sending the Louisville onlookers into a frenzy.
The result landed the pinch-running Ben Brahler on third base. Blayne McVeen knocked Brahler home on a line drive single to center to cut the Leopard lead in half at 2-1. Longwell advanced to third on the play and was plated in the next at-bat when Vincent Murray reached base on an error. A can of corn to Adams at shortstop was caught for the third out to end the bleeding.
White hit a 1-out single in the sixth, but pinch-runner Cam Lingle was not advanced any further. Louisville went down in order in the seventh, which left the door open for Massillon to walk-off in the bottom half of the frame.
Longwell hit a 1-out single to center to get the Tigers started. He stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then came home for the game-winning run on another wild pitch to end the game. Massillon improves to 17-7 on the year with the win and advances to play the winner of #9 Wooster at #1 Jackson, who play their Sectional Final game Saturday at 11:00 AM. The District Semifinal matchup for Massillon will be held on Thursday, May 18 at 2:00 PM at Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium.
This was the first tournament meeting between the Leopards and Tigers since 1976. Louisville won that AAA Sectional Semifinal matchup 5-2 at Canton South. Massillon also won an AAA Sectional matchup over the Leopards 10-5 the year before in 1975. Louisville is now 2-4 in the tournament since entering Division I, 7-9 in road tournament games, and holds a 43-45 record in the postseason dating back to 1972.
UP NEXT: The Leopards will next travel to Salem to take on the Quakers on Saturday, May 13 at 11:00 AM.
VARSITY BOX SCORE
TIGERS 3, LEOPARDS 2
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS BATTING
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS PITCHING
MASSILLON TIGERS BATTING
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MASSILLON TIGERS PITCHING
Records: Louisville 18-7