ATHENS — Logan Elm jumped out to the early lead in a May 15 district semifinal game but it wasn’t enough as Athens ended the night on top 9-3.
In the top of the first inning, Colin Clark drew a one-out walk and Hobey Carr followed with an RBI triple. Cody Anderson drew a walk and stole second. Seth McDonald hit into a fielder’s choice that resulted in Carr being tagged out at home.
Designated hitter Hayden Higginbotham was next up for the Braves and singled to right field to drive in Anderson and McDonald and put the Braves up 3-0.
The Bulldogs used a pair of hits to get one run back in the bottom of the second.
Athens grabbed the lead in the third – starting the inning with back-to-back doubles to score one run. An infield single put runners on the corner and then Cameron Kasler doubled to left field to drive in two and put the Bulldogs up 4-3.
Kasler was the last batter LE started Cade VanFossen faced as Clark was brought on in relief.
Clark got the first batter he faced to fly out to right and the next batter hit into a fielder’s choice but he walked the next two batters. Kasler scored on a wild pitch before Clark struck out Brendan Sano to end the inning with Athens leading 5-3.
Athens added another run in the bottom of the fifth as the Bulldogs had a pair of one-out singles and a walk. A passed ball allowed Luke Carpenter to score from third.
LE tried to mount a threat in the fifth when Gifford reached on an error, moved up on a sacrifice fly and then Clark walked, but Athens’ Brody Rodgers struck out the next two Braves to end the inning.
Athens added three more runs in the sixth to cap the night’s scoring.
Rodgers went the distance for the Bulldogs to get the win while VanFossen was saddled with the loss after giving up five earned runs in two-plus innings of work as LE’s starter.