Baldwin’s baseball season ends in districts

CUSTER —  Baldwin's hopes of district success ended with one bad inning and a 7-4 loss to Mason County Eastern in the district semifinals last Friday.

The Panthers were up 3-2 going into the bottom of the sixth. But the Cardinals took advantage of two Panther throwing errors on bunts and scored five runs to take control of the game.

The host team had an early 1-0 lead. Baldwin scored in the top of the third on Tyler Clugston's RBI single and Clay Bowen's RBI bounceout for a 2-1 lead. Maverick Fisher started, but hit two batters in the bottom of the third and Alan Clugston, who hadn't pitched in more than a month because of an elbow injury, came back in relief. The game was tied 2-2 and then Tyler Clugston scored on a wild pitch in the fifth. Errors and wild pitches hurt the Panthers. Fisher came back to pitch.

“I said before the game that whoever makes the least amount of mistakes will win,” said Baldwin coach Doug Bolles. “We played pretty quality baseball for five innings. We did really well. The one play, Alan (from his pitching position) went out on a bunt and tried to make a great play. We tried to make stuff happen. We rushed ourselves and got a little excited. That's high school baseball.”

Because of cancellations, this was only Baldwin's third game in the last three weeks.

“We could never get into the swing of things,” Bolles said. “Some of our guys this year got more experience.”

In the top of the seventh, Bowen tripled and scored on Alan Clugston's sacrifice fly.

But MCE hung on and went on to beat Crossroads in the title game.

“I feel really bad we're putting away the uniforms,” Bolles said. “We played hard today. Custer is 10-1. In our conference and we played three really good games with them. They were the better team today.”

Tyler Clugston had three hits while Bowen had two hits and two RBIs.

Baldwin finished at 5-8. Athletic director Shawn Williams said on Monday that games postponed because of weather with Manistee Catholic Central and Pentwater would not be played.