Lebanon falls to Hillcrest in heartbreaker

Photo courtesy Nicholas Mebruer
Lebanon freshman Tyler Paul (34) celebrates a two-run home run in the third inning with his teammates during a high school baseball game on Monday at Waynesville High School. The ‘Jackets would drop the contest against Hillcrest, 9-6.

By: 
AlEX BOYER ALEX@LEBANONDAILYRECORD.COM

The Lebanon baseball season has come to an end after a devastating loss to the Hillcrest Hornets (15-13) in the semi-final round of the Missouri Class 5 District 10 baseball tournament on Monday at Waynesville, 9-6.

The ‘Jackets led the Hornets 6-5 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning and recorded two quick outs to start the frame. After walks were allowed to the Hornets’ No. 8 and No. 9 errors, Lebanon would commit an error in the field to load the bases for Hillcrest center fielder, Kamron Grant.

Grant, a senior, delivered the biggest hit of his career when he got a fastball from Lebanon senior Christian Watson and belted it over the right field fence for a grand slam to retake the lead late in the game.

Lebanon outhit the Hornets, 12-3, but two of Hillcrest’s hits came via the long ball and would be the deciding factor in the game.

LHS got a gutsy performance from Watson in relief. The right-hander allowed just one hit and struck out 10 out of the 18 batters he faced.

Lebanon head baseball coach Dustin Young had high praise for his ace.

“He (Christian) is a bulldog and when he is right he is even more of a bulldog,” Young said. “He did a good job of throwing his fastballs for a strike around the plate and did a good job on his off-speed pitches too.

“Christian has a bright future ahead of him. He is going to go pitch at the next level and he is going to be successful there. We were very fortunate to have him in the program and we wish him luck moving forward.”

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