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Bears Beat Thayer & Houston for SCA Title; Drop No-Hit Shutout to Mansfield Tuesday

The Ava Bears held off a rally by Thayer at home last Thursday, then beat the Tigers at Houston on Monday to win the SCA title outright with an undefeated conference record.

Tuesday was a different story, however, as Mansfield’s Curtis Carnal threw a no-hitter against the Bears and shut the home team down 6-0 at Kerr Field.

The Bears defeated Thayer 11-7 here last Thursday but the Bobcats had Coach Rex Sawyer sweating it late in the game when Thayer trailed 10-7 and had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth inning.

Ava had the Bobcats down 10-0 with two out in the 5th, and needed only one more out to end the game by the 10-run rule. But Thayer scored two runs in the top of the 5th, then added five in the sixth, forcing Coach Sawyer to re-enter his starters who had been pulled for JV players. Ava added one more run in the bottom of the sixth and went on to close the game out in the seventh.

Zach Leonard and Ben Loge both homered for Ava, Loge going 4-for-4 at the plate with six RBIs on the day.

Leonard was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

Loge narrowly missed hitting for the cycle, charting a home run, a triple and two singles, stretching one of the singles into a double on a Thayer error.

Loge started the game for Ava and pitched three strong innings, striking out six batters and allowing no runs. Cody Wallace and Cody Huff each took a turn on the mound before Kody Kutz closed out the game.

Monday the Bears traveled to Houston in anticipation of claiming the SCA championship and the Ava bats did not let down. The Bears scored eight runs and Kutz shut the Tigers out for the 8-0 victory.

Kutz went the full seven innings, allowing one hit, striking out 10 and allowing only one walk on the day.

Dillon Adams carried the big stick for Ava at Houston, going 3-for-4 with a triple and scoring two runs. Chase Gastineau was 2-for-3 with two runs plated, and Ben Loge was 2-for-4.

Mansfield’s Carnal frustrated the Bears all afternoon Tuesday, and when the Bears did manage to hit the ball it was right at someone.

Carnal struck out six and walked only two on the day. One Ava batter reached on a fielder’s choice sacrifice.

The Lions scored one run in the first inning and that would be all they would need. But they added two more in the sixth and three in the seventh to take a 6-0 shutout win from the Bears.

The Bears will play at Rogersville today (Thursday) and will be home against Forsyth on Monday. On Tuesday the Bears will play at Gainesville, then the Ash Grove Tournament gets under way on Saturday, with games scheduled Saturday, Monday and Tuesday.

The Bears will play Ash Grove at 10 a.m. May 5, and will meet Marionville at 12:30 p.m. the same day. Ava will play Fordland at 4:30 Monday, May 7, in tournament action.

The Class 3 District 10 Tournament is tentatively set to begin May 12 at Houston.

The Bears are currently 11-4 overall.