On April 22 at Celina, DJ Dell’Anno’s RBI-triple in the fifth inning lifted the Bobcats to a 3-2 win over Melissa in the district finale for both teams. The result — along with Aubrey’s win over Sanger — dropped the Cards (6-4) into a three-way tie with Sanger and Celina for second place in district and made Aubrey (7-3) the district champion.
Anna (5-5) was also eliminated from the playoffs.
With series wins as the tiebreaker, Sanger takes the second playoff seed, Celina the third and Melissa the fourth.
Celina pitcher Zane Barnett got the complete-game win over the Cards, striking out nine and walking one while allowing eight hits and two earned runs. Barnett also went 1-for-2 at the plate with a 2-RBI double in the second inning. Dell’Anno finished 2-for-3 with the bat and Gehrig Griffis collected a triple in the second.
Going the distance for Melissa, Sam Crain struck out three and walked two while permitting seven hits and three earned runs. Eight different Cards posted lone singles, with Trevor Brooks and Coy DeFury recording 1 RBI each.
After Barnett’s two-bagger in the second gave Celina a 2-0 lead, Melissa answered with a pair of runs in the third. Sean Turnage, Grayson Hurst and Dillon Youngblood opened the inning with consecutive singles. Then, with no outs, Turnage was forced out at home on a fielder’s choice. Next up, Brooks’ ground out to second sent Hurst home with Melissa’s first run. With two down, DeFury’s single to third scored Youngblood to tie it up.
The score remained knotted, 2-2, until Dell’Anno’s fifth-inning shot to right field. The Cards were retired in order in the sixth. In the seventh, Brooks got aboard with a two-out single, but Barnett closed it out with his third strikeout of the frame.