LOOGOOTEE — Barr-Reeve’s hopes of winning the Class A baseball sectional championship at Loogootee disappeared into the glove of River centerfielder Austin Woodruff in the fifth inning of the Class A title game Monday afternoon.
The Patriots had taken a 3-0 lead in the first inning that starting pitcher Chase Allen had held into the fifth.
But the Vikings had loaded the bases in the top of the inning with two outs when Heath Graber launched a long fly ball into the wind in left center that leftfielder Collin Vieke missed as he attempted to run the ball down in the gap.
But Woodruff was also closing and as the ball just missed the glove of Vieke, it found Woodruff’s webbing as he slid to make the catch before rolling over behind Vieke.
It wasn’t certain at first where the ball had gone on the cloudy and windy afternoon, but Woodruff rolled over and flashed the ball in his bare hand for all to see.
“Their centerfielder (Woodruff) made a great play,” Barr-Reeve coach Nathan Lester said. “That was three runs right there. You change the complexion of the game if he doesn’t make a diving play.”
That was one of three Viking rallies that fell just short after the early 3-0 Rivet advantage gained in the bottom of the opening inning.
The Vikings received a walk to Brandon Wagler in the fourth inning and Addison Wagler singled with one out. But Brandon Wagler was lost on a fielder¹s choice as was Addison Wagler without a run scoring.
Allen hit Stan Kemp with one out and Adam Graber chased him to second in the fifth with a single. Cain Miller walked to load the bases before Brandon Wagler flew out to left field.
That set the stage for what appeared to be a potential bases-clearing shot by Graber before Woodruff ended the frame.