It looked like Ead Simon’s young Roff baseball team’s improbable run to the Class A State championship game was going to have a fairytale ending.
But the clock struck midnight before the third-ranked Tigers could get three outs in the top of the seventh inning of a heart-breaking 5-3 extra-inning loss to No. 2 Rattan Saturday night at Ed Skelton Field in Shawnee.
The Rams (30-8) needed two runs in the seventh to tie the score and added two more runs in the eight to snatch away the victory and stun the Tigers and their veteran head coach.
“We just couldn’t close the door,” Simon said following the game. “But you have to give them credit. Their will was better than ours today. They wouldn’t allow themselves to lose, so I’m going to tip my hat to them.”
Roff (24-13) led 3-1 heading into the top of the seventh when speedy Rattan leadoff hitter Cade Clay walked. Blake Watts then poked a one-out single to right field and Clay ran all the way to third on the play. Landan Carper followed with a single up the middle that scored Clay and trimmed the Roff lead to 3-2.
A.J. Davis then lofted a fly ball to Roff right fielder Cade Carpenter. Watts, who was standing at third after Carper’s single, tagged up and headed home.
Carpenter threw a strike to Roff catcher Cruz Villafranco, but the RHS sophomore bobbled the catch and the ball squirted free just before the tying run scored.
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