The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

April 28, 2013

Pioneer’s season ends as Cashion takes region, 7-4

WAUKOMIS, Okla. — For the first time in four years, Pioneer’s season is over before the state tournament.

Instead, Cashion will make its first trip after a two-year absence after beating the Mustangs 7-4 Saturday at John D. Riesen Field for a regional championship and a berth in the state tournament next week in Oklahoma City.

“It’s sad,” said Aaron Chain, one of six Pioneer seniors. “I was looking forward to going to state my final year, my senior year, but I guess not today. Not lucky enough today.”

Ty Reasnor pitched his second complete game in as many days for Cashion, striking out nine and walking four over seven innings after pitching all five frames in a 10-0 run-rule victory Friday.

Pioneer had more success on Saturday against the Cashion senior, matching its two hits from Friday’s game and scoring its first run of the two-game tilt in the bottom of the first to pull within 2-1 after a two-run top of the first for Cashion.

Reasnor lost some command in the final two of 12 innings pitched in less than 24 hours, surrendering two walks and three hits as Pioneer mounted a rally.

“(The fatigue) is definitely worth it,” Reasnor said. “Not many people get to say they made it to the state tournament, and for some of us, it’ll be our second time, so we’re pretty excited.”  

The Mustangs (26-12) finished with eight hits — matching Cashion — but left eight runners on base, the most costly on the game’s final out.

Down 7-2 to start the bottom of the seventh after a four-run Cashion sixth, Pioneer’s Carter Postier singled in Deiondre McKinney to pull the Mustangs within 7-3 with runners at first and third with two outs. Jake Mercado struck out in the next at bat, but reached first on a dropped third strike, scoring Sage Lamunyon from third in the process. Postier tried to reach third on the play, but was thrown out to end the game.

“I told Carter, ‘Honestly, I would have been more mad at you or mad at any kid if they were caught not trying to make a play, and he was trying to make a play,” Pioneer coach Dave Riesen said. “It’s just a bad luck deal.”

Pioneer starter Kamen Lounsbury struck out five in his own complete game, holding Cashion to four earned runs, but took the loss, dogged by six Pioneer errors for three unearned runs.

The finish put an end to a Pioneer season full of turns, most of them against the Mustangs, that still ended a game short of a fourth-straight state berth. Pioneer started 2013 without eight of its nine starters from last season’s semifinalist team, and lost four more regular players to injury during the season.

Top pitchers Colby Koontz and Collin Mason were both unavailable for regional play, Koontz to Tommy John surgery before the throwing a pitch and Mason to a knee injury late in the season.

Senior infielder Nicholas Denker was lost to a broken arm in the regional opener, and Brandon McNaughton was hit in the hand by a pitch before the regional round, mostly limiting him to baserunning and duties.

“We really battled down to the very last pitch,” Riesen said. “I’ve been fortunate here at Pioneer to have a lot of really good teams, and I can honestly say that I’ve never been prouder of a group. These guys, everything that we’ve been through, I very seriously doubt there’s another team in Class A that can have four starters down, not playing, and get to the regional finals and have a chance to play in the state tournament.”

“We’re very proud of ourselves,” Chain said. “We never thought we’d make it this far with all of our injuries, but we’re very proud of our guys, and our coach is proud of us, too, so we’re actually... It was a pretty good season.”

Pioneer will lose six seniors for 2014 team, but will welcome back seven likely starters for a team that should be a favorite to return to the state tournament.

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