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LHS Baseball season ends in District semifinals

By Harv Antle
HOUSTON – Licking’s season came to an end in the semifinal round of the Class 3 District 10 Tournament on Tuesday afternoon with an 8-7 loss to the Mtn. Grove Panthers.
Licking committed three errors in the contest and stranded 12 runners in the game. “Basically, we beat ourselves,” Licking coach Harv Antle said.
Mountain Grove opened the scoring in the top of the third with a pair of unearned runs. The Wildcats missed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the first when they loaded the bases with nobody out. However, a pickoff, a strikeout, and a ground out snuffed out the threat.
Licking got the game tied in the bottom of the third and took a 3-2 lead after four innings. The lead held until the sixth when Grove scored six times on five hits and two walks. Walks, along with errors and runners left on base, plagued Licking throughout the day as Wildcat pitching issued seven free passes.
Behind 8-3, Licking rallied to pull within one in the bottom of the sixth on the strength of three hits, a walk, and a Mtn. Grove error. That set up a dramatic seventh inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Wildcats loaded the bases with one out. However, Mtn. Grove was able to turn a double play to end the threat and the game.
Cainan Hutsell took the loss in relief of starter Connor Medlock. Michael Milhizer and Wilson Murray also worked in relief for Licking.
Hutsell turned in a strong day at the plate for Licking, going 4-for-4 with two RBIs. Gideon Antle cracked two doubles and a triple in a 3-for-5 performance, and Milhizer went 1-for-2 and drew three walks.
Licking finished the spring with a 13-5 record and posted 29 wins against 10 losses for the fall and spring combined. Following summer workouts, the Wildcats will return to the diamond next fall for tryouts on August 12.


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