ONTARIO — For six innings, Hillsboro junior Tommy Crandall was almost perfect.
But in the bottom of the seventh inning, top-seeded Brookwood broke through against the Tigers’ right-hand ace with two runs on three extra-base hits to walk off with a 2–1 victory in Friday’s WIAA Division 4 regional championship.
Colt Manley ripped a one-out double to plate Jaden Havlik with the game-winning run.
Crandall (5–4) struck out 10, didn’t allow a walk and surrendered one measly hit on a one-out single in the fifth inning.
The Hillsboro offense staked Crandall to a 1–0 lead with Matt Stekel RBI double in the top of the third.
Junior Tyler Crandall walked and later advanced to third on an errant pick off throw by Brookwood catcher Cory Ottum, before scoring on Stekel’s double to deep centerfield.
Unfortunately, one run would not be enough for the Tigers.
The host Falcons finally got a bead on Crandall’s fastball in the last of the seventh.
Jack Hansen doubled to lead off the bottom of the seventh to ignite Brookwood’s game-winning rally.
Hansen moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Jaden Havlik’s RBI triple to tie the game at 1–1.
Two pitches later Manley delivered the game-winning, walk-off double.
Tommy Crandall finished the year 5–4 after allowing two runs on four hits in 61/3 innings.
Ottum picked up the win in relief, holding the Tigers to one hit in the final two innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Brookwood (13–9) advanced to Tuesday’s Bangor sectional and defeated Augusta 6–4 in the 10 a.m. sectional semifinal. The Falcons game against the Ithaca/Fennimore winner did not end before press time.
UPDATE: Ithaca is returning to the state tournament after an 11-1 win over Brookwood in the sectional final in Bangor.
Meanwhile, Hillsboro finished the year 8–14 overall after going 6–8 to tie for fourth place in the Scenic Bluffs Conference.
Hillsboro 5, Royall 2
Hillsboro advanced to Friday’s regional final with a 5–2 regional semifinal victory over visiting Royall last Wednesday at Fireman’s Park.
Tyler Crandall (2–1) overcame a rough start to earn his second win of the season. Crandall scattered eight hits and allowed two runs in the complete game victory. He struck out three and walked three.
The Panthers (9–15) scored both their runs in the top of the first.
Trenton Pasch lead off the game with a double and scored Chuck Brandt’s RBI single.
Seth Brown singled to put runners at second and third. Then, Josh Murray hit a potential double play ball back to the mound, but Crandall short hopped the throw to second and all runners safe to load the bases.
Brandt later scored on a passed ball to make it 2–0.
The Tigers rebounded quickly with three runs in the bottom of the first and never trailed again.
Ethan Thorsen led off with a single and Stekel was hit by a pitch. Tommy Crandall’s ensuing triple tied the game and Crandall was able to score on an overthrow of third base on the play.
Max Stockwell reached on an error in the fifth, stole second and came into score on a Royall throwing error.
Royall threatened in the sixth, loading the bases without an out, but Crandall and the Tigers wiggled out of the jam.
After a conference on the mound Crandall got a fly ball to shallow center for the first out followed by a fielder’s choice ground ball to first base. Hillsboro junior Hunter Stanek picked the grounder cleanly and threw home for the force at the plate. Then Crandall struck out Austin Johnson to end the inning.
Hillsboro added an insurance run in the sixth. Stekel was hit by a pitch, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Stekel came into score on yet another Royall error.
The Panthers committed four errors in the game and allowed three unearned runs.
Tommy Crandall finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Stockwell also had two hits for the Tigers.
Josh Murray went 3-for-4 in defeat to lead Royall.