Allowing a huge inning while being unable to push runners across the plate brought Marceline's baseball season to an end on Friday. The Tigers fell to Milan, 11-1, in a district opener that was halted on mercy rule before the completion of five innings.
Scotland County played host to the Class 2 District 15 tournament. Milan was the fourth seed, and Marceline was seeded fifth of six teams.
The Wildcats did the majority of their damage in the bottom of the third inning. After a scoreless first two-and-a-half, Milan posted seven runs in the bottom of the third.
In the top of the fourth, the Tigers had a real opportunity to claw back. A Nathan Sayre single pushed Chase Billups across the plate to give Marceline its only run with no outs. The Tigers then failed to produce another run with the bases loaded an no outs.
Milan scored two more in the fourth, and posted its final two runs in the fifth.
Sayre pitched the first three innings before Devon Skinner came in from the bullpen.
"That's the game of baseball," Marceline coach Jordan Aulbur said. "We had our opportunities, but we struggled at the plate. We were out in front on their pitcher's off-speed stuff. On the other side of the ball, some errors put us in a tight spot. We had a hard time helping ourselves out, and it was one of those nights when things didn't really go our way.
"We never want to end it like this, but I told our freshman, there's no other way than to learn from this. For our seniors, I told them I'm proud of them for sticking to it and really understanding that their leadership helped build our young freshman up toward building a baseball culture here in Marceline."
The Tigers finish their inaugural season 5-7.