The Lisbon Lions showed flashes of their regular season selves in their state appearance Monday in Carroll, but it ultimately wasn’t enough. The St. Albert Falcons came out on top 9-3.
The Lions got off to a good enough start in the top of the first inning, when Tyler Scott ripped the second pitch that came his way between third base and short stop for a single. A sacrifice bunt from Cohen Kamaus advanced Scott to second. A wild pitch to Luke Czarnecki brought Scott home to score the first run of the game and give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
With two on base in the bottom of the first, Brendan Monahan hit deep to left field for a two-RBI double, to put the Falcons up 2-1.
The Lions scored on a wild pitch in the top of the second to tie the game up at 2-2.
The same thing happened to the Falcons in the bottom of the third, and St. Albert, after three whole innings, enjoyed a 4-2 edge.
Tyson Scott slapped the ball to left field for a double to kick off the fourth inning, and when Hunter Clark popped out to right field, it was enough for Scott to make it to third. Dillon Brayton knocked Scott home with a single to first base, cutting the Falcons lead down to one run at 4-3.
Cy Patterson, coming into the game with an eyebrow-raising .557 batting average, hit to shortstop for an RBI, and made it safely to first. Patterson scored Jeff Miller, who had taken a base after being hit by a pitch. The Falcons now led the game 5-3.
The bottom of the sixth was the most productive of the game for either team. Patterson was walked to load up the bases for the Falcons, and after a two-RBI grounder to left field to make it 7-3, Lions head coach John Tesensky stepped in to change pitchers, installing Tyson Scott and moving pitcher Hunter Clark to catcher, and Stolte to first base. Three batters (and one strikeout) later, Daniel McGrath knocked a single to center field, scoring two more Falcons and making it 9-3.
The Lions managed to get runners to second and third at the top of the seventh, but ultimately left them stranded.
“I left a couple of pitches hanging,” said Clark after the loss. “We missed a couple of key plays that cost us a couple of runs.”
Though he was dejected in the moment, the sophomore found reason for optimism.
“I’m excited for next year,” he said.
“We’ve got everybody coming back next year. We’ll have a lot of good pitching. Hitting’s going to improve, we’ve got to hit the weight room. Stay in the field, stay in the cages. A lot to come from us next year. We’ll be back,” Clark vowed.
Coach Tesensky was hopeful as well, though he had to admit that it “kind of stinks in this moment.”
However, he noted, his team was in the “25-win club” and substate champion.
The loss put the team at 25-14 overall for the year.
After such a loss, said Tesensky, “Normally, you’re going to be sad, and granted, in the moment I’m a little bit sad, but I’m looking forward to next year. Every player’s coming back. We should contend for hopefully another deep run into the playoffs next year,” he said.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the boys. We made some mistakes. It’s one of those things. We were playing the best of the best. St. Albert, they kind of found a way to take advantage of our mistakes. We didn’t give up. We responded.
“That sixth inning kind of got away from us. But overall, I’m just really really happy about how the boys competed.”