CODY, Wyo. — The Burley Green Sox’s long and thrilling postseason ride finally came to an end Tuesday.
The Layton Lancers (Utah) handed Burley a 5-4 loss to eliminate them from the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament. Burley ended the season with a record of 38-9, and Layton went on to beat Wasilla (Alaska) in the championship game right afterward.
The Green Sox gained the early advantage by taking a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Drew Ferrin drew a bases-loaded walk and Slayder Watterson was hit by a pitch to drive in another run.
Layton scored the next five runs. Three of those runs were scored in the sixth inning, in which Burley committed two of its three errors in the game.
Starting pitcher Drew Ferrin pitched well, allowing three earned runs and only giving up one walk in 5.1 innings. But he reached the pitch count limit in the sixth inning and had to leave the mound.
The Green Sox couldn’t cash in on enough opportunities on offense, especially in the fifth inning.
“We had a missed opportunity,” Burley coach Devin Kunz said. “We had bases loaded and struck out back-to-back without getting anything. We felt like the way Drew was pitching, that could have been a good momentum swing, if we could have gone up 4-0 or 5-0 or 4-1 or something like that, that would have been pretty good.”
After falling behind, Burley battled back in the seventh inning just like they have done many times this season with the game on the line.
Kody Condie singled to drive in Ramiro Garcia, then Slayder Watterson got a hit to drive in Condie to make it a one-run game. Jace Robinson got on base with a single, and suddenly Burley had a chance to win the game.
“We’re down 5-2 and we’re like, let’s just keep fighting and grinding like we have all year, and all of the sudden, it’s 5-4 and we’ve got one out and we’ve got the winning run on base,” Kunz said.
Matt Evans came in as a pinch hitter in a situation in which he’s delivered more than once this season, including a walk-off hit to win Monday’s game against Cheyenne (Wyoming). But Evans struck out, along with the next batter, Carson Noble, to end the game.
“In baseball, what comes around goes around, and he finally struck out,” Kunz said of Evans. “It just happens once in awhile.”
Tuesday marked the end of a successful season for Burley, a team that won its second consecutive Idaho Single-A state championship. Burley hosted the state tournament this year, and Kunz said he was thankful for the community support that allowed that to happen, as well as the fan support for the team.