The Louise Hornets, with a 12-1 win over the Yorktown Wildcats Tuesday night at home, wrote history, earning their first playoff berth as a 2A program.
“It’s incredible to make the playoffs after 15 years,” senior Daylon Machicek said. “We did something that hasn’t been done in a long time.”
Louise last made the playoffs in 2006 as a 1A school.
The Hornets had a chance to make the playoffs four years ago.
In nearly the same scenario, the Hornets needed a win over Yorktown to have a play-in game four fourth place, but they lost.
Win or loss Tuesday night the Hornets guaranteed at least a play-in game like four years ago. A win, however, would give them an outright playoff berth.
Louise left nothing to doubt, outhitting and outpitching Yorktown, run-ruling them in five innings.
Against Yorktown in the district finale, Louise scored in every inning.
The Hornets got a quick three outs in the top of the first. Junior Blake Yeager allowed three hits, three walks and one unearned run across his five innings. Yeager also struck out five batters in only 42 pitchings. The Louise defense helped Yeager stay efficient turning two double plays.
Yeager led off the game with a double, making it to third base. Senior Wylie Strelec followed with a ground out to drive Yeager in. Two walks and an error loaded the bases. Junior Daniel Gaona hit a grounder, but an errant throw caused him to reach safely scoring three runs putting Louise ahead 4-0.
Three Hornets finished with a multihit game. Yeager and freshman Kyle Anderson both had three hits. Sophomore Ethan Wendell, in his third game back after suffering an injury earlier in the season, had two hits.
“We didn’t play well against Weimar and this (was) a big momentum game for us to try to gain some confidence back,” Louise coach Davis Page said. “We’ve been preaching to our guys it’s great we made the playoffs, but we want to make some noise.”
The Hornets this year only have two batters who are hitting over .300 (at least 20 games played) in Machicek and Yeager. Despite not a lot of consistent hits, Louise is getting contributions from different players in each game.
“There is depth (this year),” Machicek said. “The last couple of seasons you had a couple of guys who’ve played baseball and guys who haven’t played baseball before and that’s (hurt) Louise.”
“Anybody in the lineup can come up and get a hit,” Strelec said. “Some of the games that we’ve needed to win, it was the bottom of the lineup that came through. Everybody is playing real well this season.”
Louise will match up with the second place team from District 27. The playoffs will begin on May 8. District 27 finished their season Friday night after press. A playoff opponent is not yet known.