GALLATIN – With its 3-2 win over Wilson Central on Friday night, the Station Camp Bison baseball team won the District 9AAA tournament championship – the first in school history.
The Bison clinched a school-record 27th win, while also securing a home Region 5AAA playoff game against Clarksville.
The Bison scored all the runs they needed in the home half of the first inning, batting through the lineup as Blake Butler, Garrett Liles and Zach Boze all touched home plate for Station Camp.
Junior Hunter Lautzenheiser led the Bison that inning with two RBIs, while Liles scored Butler on a single to right field.
Sophomore pitcher Ryan Ginther earned the win on the mound for the Bison, throwing seven innings and striking out eight while giving up one earned run and three hits.
“We are playing well right now,” Station Camp coach Korey Heppeard said. “Only one team has a great year, but it’s been a great year, a successful season so far, but we are not done yet. This team is good enough to keep moving on and hopefully we showed that over the last few days.”
After dropping its second game of the district tournament to city-rival Gallatin on Monday, Station Camp won three straight games -- including a double header on Tuesday night to give the Bison a shot at the district crown.
“After the Beech game, our mindset at the plate changed and we got back to hitting the ball the way we had been all season,” Heppeard added. “We started to shorten our swings and put the ball in play. We scored seven runs in the night cap against Gallatin and another nine in the if-necessary game to get here, so I feel like we are back on track.”
The Bison looked like they would again pour it on, scoring three runs in the opening frame while also batting through the lineup, but they never could string the right amount of hits together to put any more runs on the board.
“Thank goodness three was enough today,” Heppeard said. “It is like I was telling the guys, we have to keep the pedal down and go get more and do more offensively.
“If we have opportunities like we did we have to capitalize. Pitching wise we have been good but we need to eliminate the unforced errors like walks and hitting batters. Both of their runs came from guys who reached base on either a walk or hit by pitch.”
Moving on to the Region 5 semifinals on Monday, the Bison will hand sophomore hurler Chase Burns the ball and rely on him to get the job done.
“Chase has thrown well for us all year, so he needs to continue to just throw strikes and allow our defense to do what they do and offensively continue to hit the ball the way we are capable of hitting it,” Heppeard continued.
“I felt from the time we had these guys as freshman they were a special group. As we moved forward and at the start of the season this was their goal, but even though we felt we had the ability we still had to go out and do it and I’m glad they did.”