LEBANON — Crawfordsville scored a pair of runs on four first inning hits, but Lebanon’s bats put up four runs in the third and the fifth innings to down the Athenians 10-5.
The win pushes Class 3A No. 3 Lebanon to 20-2 overall and gives them the outright Sagamore Conference title with a 13-1 record. The single blemish a 5-3 loss to Tri-West. They also complete the series sweep of Crawfordsville after beating the Athenians 8-0 earlier in the year.
A win would have given Crawfordsville (16-9, 11-3 SAC) at least a share of the SAC for the 25th time in the last 40 seasons.
“Our guys have been competing on the mound 100% we just didn’t have our A-game tonight,” Crawfordsville coach Brett Motz said. “There’s no question that it’s going to be tough to beat a quality team like that whenever you’re giving up two four spots.”
Athenian ace Cale Coursey took the ball, and gave up five runs on five hits, walked two and struck-out seven in four innings of work.
After a strikeout, the Tigers opened the third with a hit batsmen, a single and an intentional walk to load the bases, before the flood gates opened. The big hit came off the bat of Brayton Bowen, who was also the winning pitcher for the Tigers. It scored two runs.
Lebanon added four more to make 9-2 in the fifth on a grand slam from Cannon Morton. Garrett Harker also hit a solo home run in the first inning.
Crawfordsville didn’t go away though.
Caleb Coons led the sixth off with a home run and the Athenians loaded the bases with nobody out, but were only able to scrape away three total runs in the inning.
“We were in an awesome situation, our bases were loaded, our three hitter was up, four hitter was on deck. We just got a home run,” Motz said. “One more big hit right there and we were back in it. Our guys continued to battle, always good to see them getting on base and seeing our guys continue to fight. Whenever we’ve been down and throughout the season, and again tonight. We just dug ourselves in a hole that we couldn’t get out of.”