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Tigers gain momentum for regionals

PRINCETON — While they played just five innings Monday in a continuation of a suspended game, they may go a long way toward establishing momentum in postseason play later in the week.

Princeton scored two runs without getting the ball out of the infield in the fifth inning and made them stand up for a 2-1 win over their rival Red Devils in a final tune-up for regional. The teams had been rained out in the third inning Thursday and both coaches said they were glad to get back on the field before the postseason.

“I wanted to play. I couldn’t have asked for a better day for it,” PHS coach Tim Taylor said. “Being able to finish the season out against Hall … anytime you can play Hall, you have to go for it, win or lose. I’m glad our boys played up to the opportunity and got the win today. We played smart baseball and hopefully we’ll continue to play smart baseball at regionals.”

“I would have rather, this sounds weird the way we played, I’d rather play this week than practice, just to get into a game situation,” Hall coach Tom Keegan said. “Credit Princeton, they put it together like that, they’ve got a great chance to play Saturday.”

Princeton did all its damage in the fifth inning with some help from some shaky Red Devil defense. Isaiah Taylor reached first on an error leading off the inning, beating Hall first baseman Trevor Urbanski to the bag after he bobbled a grounder. Skye Behrends laid down a sacrifice bunt and he too reached safely when no one covered first, putting two on with two out.

After Jake Reinhardt flew out to right, J.J. Vaccaro reached safely when Urbanski was ruled to have pulled his foot off the bag, loading the bases. Taylor came home on a wild pitch by Taggart Venegas. Catcher Adam Sangston threw past third base to try to catch Behrends, who scored to make it 2-0. Venegas got out of more trouble by striking out Jett Wedekind and Caleb Dickens.

“We’re picking a bad time to play bad,” Keegan said. “Look at the two runs they scored. And we’ve got some head-hanging. We’ve got to be tougher to get through that. We’ll go to work (Tuesday) in practice, get our minds right and see what Wednesday brings.”

Princeton utilized four pitchers in the game, with Taylor on the mound Thursday and pitching another inning to start out Monday. He was followed by Caleb Dickens, Zach Friel, who was the wining pitcher, and Reinhardt, who came in the seventh for the save.

Notes: Isaiah Taylor swiped his 28th base of the season to set a PHS single-season record. The Tigers have long blasted the team record … Princeton (14-15) will face Erie/Prophetstown at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in regional semifinal play at Bureau Valley. E/P blanked Three Rivers foe Riverdale 10-0. …. Hall met St. Bede in semifinal play Wednesday.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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