The perfect season came to an end Saturday for the West Canada Valley Indians, who suffered an 8-2 loss on its home field at the hands of Beaver River in the Section III Class C2 high school baseball championship.
The Indians entered the game 14-0 with a slew of dominant victories on their resume. The Beavers entered 19-2 and had their share of big wins as well.
Both teams started their aces on the mound, with Aidan Maxwell throwing for West Canada Valley and Beaver River’s Jonah Shearer out there to match him.
Early on, it looked like the Indians would do what they’ve done all year: Put up a lot of runs and dare you to answer back.
In the bottom of the first inning, West Canada Valley’s Cole Maxwell led things off with a walk and a steal. He then advanced to third on a dropped third strike. After Maxwell was intentionally walked, the Indians were threatening with runners on first and third with the middle of its order due up.
All year, West Canada Valley thrived on opportunities like this, but in this one Shearer was able to get a strikeout and a groundout to escape the inning unharmed.
In the bottom half of the second, the Indians redeemed themselves.
With two out, Derek Maxwell and Ian Farber reached base on back-to-back hits. Cole Maxwell then walked to load the bases for Sean Burdick, who laced a single to drive in two runs and give the Indians the 2-0 lead.
At this point, Maxwell was dealing on the mound for the Indians. In the top of the third, the Beavers led off with a double from Kadin Martin followed by a sacrifice bunt that moved him to third base with one out. Maxwell forced a pop fly and a strikeout to keep the shutout intact.
Things started getting rocky for West Canada Valley in the fourth inning. Shearer and Noah Zehr both reached base for the Beavers before Brandon Atwood drove them in to tie things up for Beaver River.
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The Beavers took control of the game in the top of the fifth. Maxwell started to have some control issues, hitting one batter and walking two. Defensively, the Indians started to unravel a bit as well, committing multiple errors.
The first of these errors came when the Indians tried running Zaccheus LaComb back to third base and the throw got away from them. This led to LaComb scoring and giving Beaver River the 3-2 lead.
Shearer then drove in another run with a base hit. Later in the inning, Shearer scored on a throwing error and Samuel Bush scored on a passed ball to give the Beavers a 6-2 lead.
Offensively for West Canada Valley, the bats went silent. After getting out of the first two innings, Shearer zoned in on the mound for Beaver River. He ended up pitching all seven innings and struck out 12 batters.
After the Beavers scored two more runs, the Indians were down to their last three outs to try and preserve the perfect season.
West Canada Valley managed to get runners to second and third base with one out, but much like he did all afternoon, Shearer worked himself out of the jam to lead his team to victory.
Jonah Shearer (Beaver River): 7 IP, 12 K, 2 ER, 2-3, RBI, 2 runs, 4 stolen bases.
Zaccheus LaComb (Beaver River): 1-3, RBI, 2 runs, RBI.
Brandon Atwood (Beaver River): 1-4, double, 2 RBI.
Sean Burdick (West Canada Valley): 2-4, double, 2 RBI.
Derek Maxwell (West Canada Valley): 1-3, run.
Ian Farber (West Canada Valley): 1-3, run.
Kenny Lacy is a sports reporter for the Observer-Dispatch. For unlimited access to his stories, please subscribe at the top of the uticaod.com homepage or activate your digital account today. Email Kenny Lacy at [email protected].