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Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016

Oran falls in title game, 4-3

Friday, June 4, 2004

Archie's Lee Bear, right, slides safely into third as Oran third baseman Trevor Irwin, left, bobbles the ball.
(AP Photo)
COLUMBIA -- The Class 1 championship baseball game Thursday at Taylor Stadium had everything a baseball fan could want, from strong pitching and fine fielding to clutch hitting.

Unfortunately for Oran fans, it didn't include a state title.

Archie scored the decisive run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 4-3 victory.

The Eagles were left with a second-place trophy for the second straight year. They finished the year 23-4, while Archie concluded its season 18-4.

"We've had a great year," Oran coach Mitch Wood said. "It's hard to talk about a great year at this time."

Oran now has made seven trips to the state final four without bringing home a state championship.

That mark is the second-most appearances without a championship in the 55 years of the state tournament, one behind fellow Southeast Missouri school Sikeston, which makes its eighth attempt today and Saturday.

"I feel very fortunate we've come this many times," Wood said.

Archie scored the winning runs with no outs in the seventh. Luke Young led off the inning with a double against Matt Seyer, who had relieved Chase Seyer in the fourth. After Bryon Cecil's bunt single, Young scored on the wild pitch.

Each team had eight hits, took two walks and committed no errors.

"I think this was our worst hitting performance today," Matt Seyer said. "Our bats were a little dead."

The Eagles failed to pick up key hits when needed. In the fourth and fifth innings Oran had runners on second and third, managing to score only one of those runners. The Eagles left eight runners on base.

"We definitely had our chances," Wood said. "We had guys on second and third and didn't drive them in."

Oran never led but it never trailed for long. Archie started the scoring in the bottom of the first. Daniel Baer reached base with a two-out single, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Grant Wilburn's single.

Oran bounced back with a run in the second. Paul Bucher led off with a double and moved to third on a ground-out by Chase Seyer. Craig Friga followed with an infield single to score Bucher.

Archie scored two runs in the fourth. After a single, a hit batsman and a sacrifice, Lee Baer roped a two-run single to make the score 3-1.

The Eagles came right back with two runs in the top of the fifth. Trevor Irwin drew a one-out walk, and Garrett Roslen and Joey Williams followed with hits.

Williams' single drove in Irwin, with Roslen and Williams ending up at third and second. Cecil relieved Archie starter Derek Maring and retired Paul Bucher. Cecil had Chase Seyer set up at 1-2 before throwing a wild pitch to score Roslen.

"I was glad at the way we fought," Matt Seyer said.

Both teams had to rely on young arms, with freshman Seyer throwing for Oran and a sophomore, Maring, starting for Archie. Maring threw 4 1/3 innings; fellow sophomore Cecil picked up the win with 2 2/3 innings of one-hit relief.

"We ran a sophomore out there, and we were hoping to get three or four out of him and he kept us in the game," Archie coach Matt Trainer said.

While Oran may have surprised many just by returning to the final four after losing seven seniors from last year's team, that will not be the case in 2005. Oran will lose only three seniors.

"I'd be thrilled to death to have them come back up here," senior Matt Seyer said.

Roslen and Craig Friga had two hits apiece to lead Oran's offense. Chase Seyer left the game after 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs and six hits.

Matt Seyer pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and taking the loss.

In the third-place game, Bevier recovered from Wednesday's loss to Oran to knock off Sparta 4-1. Sparta, last year's champion, finished with a 20-2 record after going 0-2 at Taylor Stadium.