Bulldogs look to next season as several players expected to return for next baseball campaign
McLouth had a rematch with Pleasant Ridge and an upset on the Bulldogs' minds, but MHS couldn't overtake Pleasant Ridge last month in Class 3A regional semifinal action in Leavenworth.
After defeating Oskaloosa, 15-3, in the quarterfinals, McLouth had plenty of confidence heading into its game against the Rams.
Top-seeded Pleasant Ridge, however, kept McLouth scoreless in an 8-0 shutout victory.
"The guys had a lot of momentum going into the second game of regions against Pleasant Ridge after we hit the ball so well against Oskaloosa," MHS coach Clay Mayer said. "We just couldn't get enough hits out of the infield against Chris Barnes to manufacture any runs.
"I knew they weren't going to look past us since they pitched their ace that shut us out in the regular season 1-0."
Pleasant Ridge went on to face Maur Hill-Mount Academy of Atchison in the finals. MH-MA dashed Pleasant Ridge's state dreams with a 12-5 victory. MH-MA advanced to state with a 14-7 record, while PRHS ended its season at 18-2.
The loss to Pleasant Ridge ended McLouth's season at 8-10, but this year's Bulldog squad tallied the most wins in a season in school history.
Mayer, who was in his first year as the MHS head coach this season, said seniors Kyle Sparks, Boone Sorrell and Kevin Stewart did "a great job of taking leadership roles for the younger guys to follow."
With this year's squad comprised mostly of sophomores, Mayer is optimistic about next season, especially with juniors Lance Lamborn, Spencer Lamborn and Trevor Keling returning for their final year.