Patriots upended in sectionals

AU SABLE FORKS - AuSable Valley's postseason was cut short as the Eagles of Beekmantown pulled off a 9-3 upset in the Section VII Class B baseball quarterfinals May 28.

Beekmantown pitcher Brett Palmer stymied the fourth-seeded Patriots with 10 strikeouts, allowing just 3 hits and four walks in the complete game win.

The Patriots held a 2-1 lead after the first thanks to an RBI off a single by Jordan Bezio and a sacrifice fly by Alex LaFountain.

A series of defensive miscues by AuSable Valley in the third allowed the Eagles to tie, then take the lead with a two-run single by Evan Bull in the fourth.

The Eagles, however, proved steadfast on defense, highlighted by a diving catch by Luke Weaver to end the fourth when the Patriots had runners on second and third.

"We played an excellent game where we hit the ball through the whole game," said Beekmantown head coach Jim Knight, "and we played solid defense without making the mistakes that have hurt us throughout the year."

"They made some beautiful plays to take us out of some big innings," said AuSable Valley head coach Randy Douglas.

Beekmantown exploded in the fifth with a three-run homer by Jon Manor. Manor would finish with three hits and three RBI. Palmer helped his cause with two hits and three RBI. Weaver reached base on all four of his at-bats, adding a triple and a single.

Though the Eagles came in as the fifth seed and had lost to AuSable Valley in the regular season, Knight said his team had been looking forward to sectionals.

"I've told them that the playoffs are a different animal," said Knight, "and if you show up to play down the stretch, you can do big things."

LaFountain launched a solo shot in the sixth for AuSable Valley, and Bezio struck out the side in the top of the seventh, but a Patriot comeback was not to be.

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