“We didn’t go down there and play our best ball, and they were better than us and deserved it,” Lovett coach Lance Oubs said.
After splitting the first two games, getting no-hit in Game 1 8-0 and then bouncing back behind another strong pitching performance by Jack Geraghty to take Game 2, 7-5, the Lions’ control problems and fielding issues did them in a 17-7 Game 3 loss May 22.
“Obviously, everybody was upset and disappointed, I think more so because our play there was not indicative of the type of team we have,” Oubs said. “You’ve got to [play well] when you get to the semifinals. Everybody at that point of the season is going to be good, so it comes down to the team that can limit the mistakes and we weren’t able to do that.”
The Lions have not been back to the championship series since 2009, when they won it all.
It was, nevertheless, another deep run for Lovett, which reached its fifth straight semifinal by virtue of a pulse-pounding, best-of-three win over Calhoun in the quarterfinals.
After splitting the first two contests with the Yellow Jackets, the Lions rallied from down 4-1 in the seventh inning of the deciding game, striking for five runs (scored on a single, walk, groundout, squeeze bunt and sacrifice fly) and held on for a 6-5 victory May 16.
“I’m super proud of my group this year, and I’m so proud of the seniors and what they’ve accomplished,” Oubs said. “That’s what I wanted them to take away and not just dwell on that last game. I wanted them to focus on that we had another really good season, that it was the fifth time in a row and the fourth time for several seniors to make it to the semifinals.”
Geraghty and fellow seniors Brooks Schoen, Robert Currie and Dylan Malinowski played all four years for the varsity team and finished their careers with one state championship and three semifinal appearances.