By Chuck Reherman
OKARCHE – Southwest Covenant went into the class A District 32 playoffs as the underdog.
The Patriots came out with a fourth straight district title.
SWCS in only their fourth year of baseball kept their string of district titles intact, beating host team Okarche 7-5 in the finals.
The Patriots had beaten Okarche 13-3 to reach the finals after a 1-0 forfeit win over Hydro-Eakley in the opener. Hydro had actually beaten the Patriots, 11-12, in the first round, but used an ineligble player and had to forfeit the game.
SWCS used a five-run fourth inning to open a 7-2 lead and held off a late Okarche comeback bid to win the district title.
Okarche had the bases loaded and scored two runs before SWCS got the final out.
SWCS opened a 7-2 lead in the fourth off the bat of Ben Webb and Andrew Hickman. Webb had a two-run scoring single and Hickman an RBI single to open the 7-2 lead. A sacrifice bunt by Peter Webb had broke a 2-2 tie and Trevor Kelly’s sacrifice fly made it 3-2.
Okarche had taken a 2-0 first inning lead, but a two-run home run by Hickman in the third tied the game 2-2. Hickman went 3-for-3 with three RBIs.
In the first meeting the day before, the Patriots scored five times in the first and four more in the second to take control of the game and rolled to a 13-3 win.
Jesse Deason’s three-run home run capped the fiverun first inning, Deason drilled an 0-1 pitch over the right field fence. That came after Hickman had doubled in a pair of runs to open a 2-0 lead.
The Patriots opened a 9-0 lead in the second on a two-out, two-run double by Cole Shaw, an RBI double from Christian Brown and an RBI single from Deason.
Shaw’s RBI double in the fourth extended the lead to 10-0 in the fourth and SWCS scored on a passed ball in the fifth to lead 11-1.
RBI singles from Brown and Deason in the sixth inning opened the lead back to 10, 13-3, after Okarche scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
In the opening game, SWCS lost to Hydro 9-8. The Patriots came back from an 8-0 deficit, then was awarded the game after Hydro had to forfeit.
By Chuck Reherman