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Whiteoak Wildcats upset in sectional finals by Waterford

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Whiteoak senior Kaden Moon-Stone is pictured in the Wildcats' sectional final game. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press

HILLSBORO — Wednesday saw the No. 2 seeded Whiteoak Wildcats fall in the sectional finals of the Division IV SE District tournament by a 3-1 score in 10 innings at Hillsboro High School. 

Whiteoak led 1-0 after the first inning as Eli Roberts scored a run, and that score stood until the top of the fifth when Waterford scored a run for the 1-1 score. From there, neither team from the sixth through ninth innings was able to put another run on the board. 

That all changed in the top of the 10th when Waterford (9-13) scored two runs for the eventual winning score of 3-1. 

“We had our opportunities late, and they didn't work out,” Whiteoak head coach Chris Veidt said. “Tonight, it seemed like the balls that we hit hard — and we did hit some balls hard — were in the air and right at them. Baseball is a funny game. Sometimes that happens.

“The bottom line is in that last inning, they got the hits when they needed them, and leading up to that as well as there for us in the bottom of that inning, we didn’t. We just didn't get the clutch hits. The bottom line was really just the clutch hits.”

In the bottom of the first, with two outs, Roberts singled to centerfield, stole second base and scored on a ball hit to second base. 

For the game, Whiteoak totaled three hits with Jacen Applegate going 1-for-4 with a double, Jacob Kiley was 1-for-3 and Roberts went 1-for-4 with a run and a steal. Whiteoak also had four walks from Dakota Clift, Abraham Flader, Kaden Moon-Stone and Camron Storms, as Storms also had a steal. 

Waterford was led at the plate by Hayden Jones at 3-for-5 with a run. Also scoring runs for Waterford were Wade Booker and Cole Sparling-Ponchak. RBI were credited to Zavier Heiss and Cole Hansell. 

Jones pitched eight innings for a no-decision for Waterford. He allowed one earned run on four hits  and four walks with six strikeouts. Heiss was the winning pitcher, allowing no runs on no hits and a walk in two innings. 

Moon-Stone pitched all 10 innings for Whiteoak, as he allowed three runs (none earned) on seven hits and one walk with 11 strikeouts. 

“I thought Kaden Moon-Stone was outstanding,” Veidt said. “We took him as far as we could take him, and he was exceptional tonight.”

For the game, Whiteoak totaled three hits and had five errors, while Waterford totaled seven hits and two errors. 

Seniors for Whiteoak are Kaden Moon-Stone, Eli Roberts and Dakota Clift, and Veidt credited them for their leadership on and off the field throughout the season.

“Our three seniors were so fantastic, and I mean that — as good or maybe the best group we've ever had, from a leadership perspective, because they had a lot of young kids to take care of, and they really did,” Veidt said. “Honestly, to me, that's the most impressive thing that took place this year was their leadership.

“I couldn't ask for or expect any more out of the seniors, and my gosh, there was only three of them, but they led like an army. Unbelievable.”

The loss leaves WHS with a final overall record of 17-8 and they finished second in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference (Div. II) with a 9-4 mark in conference play. 

“What a great bunch of kids,” Veidt said. “It's a tough way to end it.

“I really didn't expect it to happen here and now, but you know, again, that's high school baseball, that's tournament baseball, and the aforementioned reasons tonight. It just didn't happen. So you tip your cap to [Waterford] and wish them luck, and say goodbye to your seniors, unfortunately, and plan for next year.”

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WHS    100 000 000 0 — 1 3 5

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