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ASSUMPTION – The season ended prematurely for St. Elmo last Thursday in the semifinals of the regional tournament, halting the careers of four extremely talented seniors.
Ben Sperry, Blaine Scholes, Willie Magnus and Woodsen Savage all have started for four years for the Eagles, and an 11-1 loss to Windsor that snapped a 14-game winning streak was not the finish anyone had in mind.
“It’s pretty hard,” said coach Ryan Beccue. “We didn’t give our best effort. I was hoping that if a team beat us, it would be with us giving our best effort, but it wasn’t.”
The four seniors were vital to St. Elmo’s season – which included a school record 20-7 record after a 2-4 start to the season.
“That’s four good guys,” an emotional Beccue said. “They come and work hard every day, put in extra time, get along and are definitely good leaders.
“I can’t say enough about them.”
The Eagles were the No. 2 seed in the Moweaqua Regional, while Windsor was seeded third. The Devils went on to win the regional title and faced Fayette County’s South Central at the St. Anthony Sectional on Wednesday.
Last Thursday, Windsor started out the game with a pair of triples and then added three more runs in the second inning to take an early lead.
Savage doubled and scored on Dalton Parks’ grounder in the bottom of the second to trim the lead by a run, but Windsor took advantage of a couple of errors in the third to post another run.
“We just didn’t have it today,” Beccue said. “That’s not the way we have played the last month. I don’t know what happened, but unfortunately, it happened today, so we don’t get a chance to come back and do anything about it.”
Several close calls by the umpires went against St. Elmo, and the Windsor coaches at one point asked for an inspection of one of the Eagles’ bats, making the speed of play choppy at best.
But by the end of the game, the Eagles had allowed too many hits to the opposite field and committed too many errors to contend for a victory.
“I give Windsor a lot of credit,” Beccue said. “They went the other way and hit the ball hard.”
Savage would finish the day as St. Elmo’s offensive leader, going 3-for-3. Sperry and Scholes also had a hit in their final game.
“They have done so much for us,” Beccue said. “They are irreplaceable.
“We’ll have guys come out next year and have a team, but you don’t replace the character and work ethic.”
Thursday, May 17
at Moweaqua Regional
St. Elmo 1
WP: Hubbartt; 6 IP, 7 K
LP: Connor Beasley (5-4); 6 2/3 IP, 5 K, 10 R, 13 H, 3 BB
Eagles: Savage, 3-for-3, 2B, run; Nick Bauer, 2-for-3, 2B; Sperry, 1-for-3; Scholes, 1-for-4; Parks, RBI.