MINDEN, La. —
While the Ada offense rose to the occasion in Thursday night’s first-round showdown with host Minden, La., at the American Legion Mid-South regional, the Braves’ pitching sank to an all-time low in a wild 26-16 loss.
Matt Johnson homered twice and Blake Logan and Brandon Maggia also went deep for Ada as part of a 14-hit attack, but six Braves pitchers surrendered a club record in runs (26) while giving up 22 hits and walking 14 in the seven-inning, run-rule loss to the only team among the eight in the regional field that didn’t win a state title.
With the loss, Ada (38-12) will need a victory in a loser’s bracket game at 12:30 p.m. today to survive in the double-elimination event.
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Johnson’s 14th home run of the season (and fifth of the playoffs) off Minden starter Jerrell Jackson.
But RBI singles by Preston Gray and Cody Davis highlighted a three-run rally in the bottom of the inning off Ada starter Jake Sanders (1-3) that gave the hosts the lead for good.
Moses Isham took the mound to start the second and didn’t fare any better than Sanders. He surrendered three runs on four hits — including RBI singles by Bo Parker and Reco Mitchell — as Minden’s lead grew to 7-1.
The Braves then made a game of it with a two-out, five-run rally in the top of the third.
Tanner Bell, inserted into the leadoff spot in the Ada lineup with Hunter Marcum on vacation, started the outburst with a one-out double, and after Johnson drew a two-out walk to load the bases, Bell scored Ada’s second run on Dylan Tinkler’s two-out infield single. Logan then walked to load the bases, and Maggia chased Jackson with a grand slam to right to make it 7-6.