The Ava Bears took a 5-2 lead into the seventh inning of the district semifinal game at Houston Monday afternoon. But Cuba erupted for four runs in the final inning and upset the top-seeded Bears 6-5 to end Ava’s baseball season.
Senior Kody Kutz was the starting pitcher for Ava and Coach Rex Sawyer credited him with “a whale of a game”, but it was all for naught as Cuba advanced to the championship game and the Bears went home. Kutz struck out 10 Cuba batters and allowed only three earned runs.
Offensively, Cooper Emerich was 1-for-4 with a 2-RBI double. Zach Leonard was 1-for-4 and scored two runs for the Bears. Chase Gastineau was 1-for-4 with a triple and scored a run.
Cuba, the No. 4 seed in the district tournament, also upset No. 2 Mtn. Grove 7-1 in the championship game on Tuesday and will advance to state sectional play.
The young Ava Bears team finished at 14-9 overall and 7-0 in the SCA.