GREENVILLE — There was no panic in the Christ Our Rock baseball players.
The No. 1 seed Silver Stallions had just seen No. 2 seed Greenfield-Northwestern score four runs in the bottom of the third inning to erase a 4-0 deficit and tie the semifinal game of the Class A Sectional at Greenville University 4-4. But coach Al Bazile had a simple message for his team.
"I told them that there was plenty of game left and we just needed to keep calm and score more runs," Bazile said.
The Silver Stallions wasted no time listening to their coach. Christ Our Rock scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a 7-4 lead. The Silver Stallions never relinquished that lead and went on to beat the Tigers 8-5. The win advanced Christ Our Rock to the sectional championship game on Saturday.
Christ Our Rock, which also beat Greenfield-Northwestern in last year's sectional semifinal, improved to 23-4 and won its 11th straight game. Greenfield-Northwestern finished its season at 13-20.
"We really wanted to get back to where we were last year and play for a sectional championship again," Christ Our Rock senior Myles Pryor said. "Overall, we had a good effort today."
Pryor pitched six innings to get the win for the Silver Stallions. He allowed five runs — four earned — on 10 hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Pryor allowed four runs on six hits in the third inning. But in the next three innings, Pryor allowed a combined one run on three hits.
"Myles threw a good game and really responded back after that third inning," Bazile said. "But I told the guys that as you go further in the postseason, you are going to see teams that are going to have big innings. But Myles is a senior and he really put his heart into this game."
After the Greenfield-Northwestern four-run third inning, the Silver Stallions' offense went back to work. Junior Lendon Isaiah started the top of the fourth inning by reaching first base on a dropped third strike. Senior Colton Oelze singled to move Isaiah to second base. Junior Da'mari Dabney doubled to score Isaiah to put the Silver Stallion up 5-4. Freshman Brayden Albert had an RBI ground out to score Oelze. Senior Ethan Peltes hit a sacrifice fly to score Dabney and put the Silver Stallions up 7-4.
Christ Our Rock added another run in the top of the sixth inning to take an 8-4 lead. The inning started with Oelze reaching on an error and Dabney singling. Albert put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up one base. Peltes put down a sacrifice bunt to score Oelze.
Greenfield-Northwestern added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to get within 8-5. Dabney took the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning to relieve Pryor. Dabney retired three of the four batters he faced to close out the game.
"This was just a great team effort today," Bazile said. "We just needed to stay positive and not be selfish, and that played a big part of the success in the postseason."
Christ Our Rock jumped to an early lead. Christ Our Rock scored three runs with two outs in the first inning to take a 3-0 lead. Dabney had a two-RBI single in the inning. Albert had an RBI single to score Dabney. Oelze had an RBI single in the second inning to put the Silver Stallions up 4-0.
Greenfield-Northwestern came back with four runs on six hits in the third inning. Five of the first six Tiger batters had hits in the inning. Kohen Vetter had a two-RBI double in the inning. Brett Bilbruck and Brody Reif had RBI singles.
"I was just not ready to go in that third inning," Pryor said. "I could not find the strike zone and I have to do a better job of being ready to go each inning. But my teammates really picked me up."
Six different Christ Our Rock batters combined for a 12-hit attack. Dabney reached base four times and had three hits, including a double, with three RBIs and two runs scored. Oelze reached base four times and had three hits, one RBI and three runs scored. Peltes had two hits and two RBIs. Pryor had two hits. Sophomore Jayden Bazile reached base three times and had a double with a run scored. Albert had a hit and two RBIs. Isaiah scored two runs.
Christ Our Rock plays in the sectional championship for the second straight year on Saturday. The Silver Stallions face No. 2 seed Gibault at Greenville University. First pitch is set for 11 a.m.