GCMS baseball ends 2018 season with 4-2 loss to top-seeded Tri-Valley in regional semifinals

BUCKLEY -- The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley baseball team had the game-winning run on base during the seventh inning of Wednesday's IHSA Class 2A Paxton-Buckley-Loda Regional semifinal game against top-seeded Tri-Valley.
Despite a 4-2 loss, GCMS head coach Dustin White said he was proud of his ninth-seeded team's effort.
“If you look at it that way, when the ninth seed takes the top seed as deep as they want to go and has the winning run on base at the end of the game, it's hard to be disappointed," White said. "It was a really good ballgame. I'm super-happy with our effort. I'm really proud of our guys today.” 
The Falcons (11-15) went into Wednesday's game having won their last four contests, including an 8-6 victory in the regional quarterfinals over Bloomington Central Catholic the previous Monday.
“Our kids played really good baseball the last 2-3 weeks. We kind of figured some things out. We started playing together as a group," White said. "We looked like we had a lot more fun. We just played really good baseball down the stretch. To beat Central Catholic was a big win for us. This was a team that had beaten us fairly easy earlier in the year.”
The Falcons' quest for a fifth straight win started quickly as Daniel Jones belted the first pitch of the game past the right-field fence for a home run.
“It kind of settled us down a little bit. It proved to us that we could hit," White said. "He hit the ball hard all day. He hit another ball in the gap that their kid ran down with a couple of guys on base.”
In the bottom of the second inning, Dayne Wiggins walked and Jake Reeser reached base on an error before Wiggins scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1 for Tri-Valley.
Tri-Valley (20-7) took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning as Drew Rudsinski walked and advanced to second base on a passed ball before crossing home plate on a Matt Mier single to center field.
In the top of the fourth inning, GCMS tied the game as Nathan Daughenbaugh hit an infield single before Ty Walker singled to center field to send Ethan Garard -- who ran as a courtesy for the catcher Daughenbaugh -- across home plate.
“Offensively, we hit the ball hard," White said. "It seemed like we had some opportunities. We just couldn't get that big hit when we needed it, but I'm super-proud of our guys. The effort level was there all day today. The enthusiasm level was there.”
Braden Zenior led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a double to right field for Tri-Valley. Rudsinski singled to left field as Zenor scored on an error on the play. 
Rudsinski then scored on a sacrifice fly ball hit to center field by Matthew Manint.
Freshman Braden Roesch pitched a complete game for GCMS, allowing four runs -- one earned -- on four hits and three walks while striking out six batters.
“Braden Roesch just threw a fabulous ballgame today," White said. "It's one of those hard losses for him.”
With one out in the top of the sixth inning, Layne Harden tripled to right field. However, he was tagged out while trying to cross home plate on a Daughenbaugh ground ball. Josh Nuss struck out to leave Daughenbaugh stranded.
The Falcons loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh inning. Walker was hit by a pitch, Roesch walked and Wade Burton drew another hit-by-pitch. 
The runners would be left stranded, however, as Cade Elliott grounded out to Tri-Valley second-baseman Jimmy Butler to end the game.
“Layne had a good hit there and we don't score him. In the end, we got them loaded and hit a ball hard. It was just big high chopper that went to (the Tri-Valley second baseman)," White said. "I think we had three balls today that deflected off their pitcher and went kind of toward their defenders. A lot of times, those could have gone either way. If they get through, those could be three base hits that change things.
“We had some chances. It's not that we didn't do anything with it. They made some good plays when they had to. They're the No. 1 seed, so you expect that.”
The Falcons are saying goodbye to three seniors -- Alec Johnson, Walker and Nick Tabor.
“I'm super-proud of those guys. They made this year very enjoyable. They came and played hard. They worked their butts off all year long. I'm really happy with their effort and their leadership. These guys showed a lot of leadership this year and took a team that was a younger group and kind of showed them the way," White said. 
"I'm really proud of them for that. The legacy that they'll leave is the fact that we played better baseball, and it was because of those guys teaching the younger guys what they need to do, how to have a little fun at practice and how to enjoy the game. I can't say enough good, positive things about those three seniors.”
White said he is glad to have at least one more year with the rest of the players on the 14-man varsity roster.
“We've got a pretty decent crop coming back. At this point, the expectation now isn't to get into a regional and play well. The expectation is to prove that we can win (a regional). We've got to be conscious of that and be ready to go next year, and I think our guys will be hungry for that," White said.
“We've got a lot of young guys, and we're excited about that. Hopefully, those guys will keep working over the summer and get ready for the other spots that they participate in. Then when the spring rolls around, hopefully we'll get a little bit less snow and be able to get outside a little bit earlier and get some more work in.”
Tri-Valley 4, GCMS 2
GCMS 100   100   0   -- 2   5   3
TV 011   020   x   -- 4   4   1
W -- Drew Rudsinski, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, ER, 9 K, BB. L -- Braden Roesch, 6 IP, 4 H, 4 R, ER, 6 K, 3 BB. S -- Matt Mier, 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB. 
GCMS (11-15) -- Daniel Jones 1-3, HR, RBI, R. Layne Harden 1-3, 3B, Nathan Daughenbaugh 1-3. Tyler Walker 2-2, RBI. Ethan Garard R.
Tri-Valley (20-7) -- Braden Zenor 1-2, 2B, R. Drew Rudsinski 1-1, 2 R. Matt Mier 1-3, RBI. Matthew Manint RBI. Dayne Wiggins R. Kolton Weichman 1-3. 
Batting average
Name Avg./AB
Braden Roesch .364/55
Nathan Garard .362/69
Alec Johnson .333/84
Cade Elliott .292/48
Daniel Jones .274/84
Josh Nuss .243/70
Nathan Daughenbaugh .241/58
Nick Tabor .234/47
Layne Harden .228/79
Wade Burton .169/59
Lane Short .167/12
Tyler Walker .167/18
TEAM .268/690
On-base percentage
Nathan Garard .516/93
Braden Roesch .400/60
Alec Johnson .389/98
Daniel Jones .378/99
Nathan Daughenbaugh .362/69
Nick Tabor .361/61
Layne Harden .351/94
Lane Short .333/15
Wade Burton .321/78
Cade Elliott .320/50
Tyler Walker .318/22
Josh Nuss .312/77
TEAM .370/823
Home runs
Name HRs
Nathan Garard 3
Daniel Jones 1
Name 3Bs
Layne Harden 3
Alec Johnson 2
Daniel Jones 2
Wade Burton 1
Nathan Garard 1
Name 2Bs
Nathan Garard 9
Braden Roesch 5
Daniel Jones 5
Nick Tabor 3
Alec Johnson 2
Cade Elliott 2
Layne Harden 2
Wade Burton 2
Lane Short 1
Runs batted in
Name RBIs
Nathan Garard 20
Alec Johnson 16
Layne Harden 13
Wade Burton 13
Cade Elliott 12
Nick Tabor 11
Josh Nuss 8
Nathan Daughenbaugh 8
Braden Roesch 7
Daniel Jones 5
Lane Short 1
Tyler Walker 1
TEAM 115
Runs scored
Name Rs
Alec Johnson 21
Daniel Jones 21
Layne Harden 21
Nathan Garard 21
Wade Burton 11
Josh Nuss 10
Nick Tabor 9
Andrew Laughery 6
Braden Roesch 4
Cade Elliott 4
Lane Short 4
Ethan Garard 3
Nathan Daughenbaugh 3
Tyler Walker 3
TEAM 141
Stolen bases
Name SBs
Layne Harden 10
Alec Johnson 8
Nathan Garard 7
Tyler Walker 5
Daniel Jones 4
Ethan Garard 2
Nick Tabor 2
Wade Burton 2
Braden Roesch 1
Cade Elliott 1
Josh Nuss 1
Earned-run average
Layne Harden 1.27/11
Nathan Garard 2.20/41.1
Braden Roesch 3.19/41.2
Daniel Jones 3.96/17.2
Wade Burton 4.84/4.1
Lane Short 5.5/14
Tyler Walker 5.96/29.1
Alec Johnson 7.00/2
Cade Elliott 28.00/1
Pitching wins
Name W-L
Nathan Garard 3-2
Layne Harden 2-1
Daniel Jones 2-3
Tyler Walker 2-3
Braden Roesch 2-5
TEAM 11-15
Name SVs/SVOs
Braden Roesch 2/2
Layne Harden 1/1
TEAM 3/3
Name Ks
Nathan Garard 49
Braden Roesch 42
Tyler Walker 24
Daniel Jones 18
Lane Short 13
Layne Harden 13
Wade Burton 3
Alec Johnson 1
TEAM 163
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