The Bears season came to a close Tuesday evening in Houston as Mountain Grove emerged victorious in the district championship game 11-3.
Mtn. Grove jumped out to an early, but short-lived, lead against starting pitcher Caleb Johnson in the top of the first after a walk to the lead off batter came around to score.
Down 1-0 Ava immediately answered back in the bottom of the inning with a 1 out triple by Wyatt Gastineau, who scored easily on the next pitch as Caleb Johnson doubled to right field. Johnson later scored the second run of the inning on a passed ball giving the Bears a 2-1 advantage.
The game remained scoreless until the top of the 3rd when Mtn. Grove scored two runs to take the lead 3-2.
Ava would remain down until the bottom of the 4th when, leading off, Caleb Johnson was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a passed ball. After a ground ball out moved him to third base a 2 out single by Aaron Everett pushed the score to 3-3.
A scoreless 5th gave way to the 6th where Mtn. Grove used a hit batter followed in succession by a sacrifice bunt and a single to center field to score their fourth run of the day and take the lead 4-3.
Mtn. Grove made quick work of Ava in the bottom of the 6th and in the top of the 7th put the game away, with help from 4 errors by the Bears defense allowing 7 runs to score and placing the Bears in a 11-3 hole that they would not be able to climb out of.
Mtn. Grove advances on to play the District 9 champion on May 21st. Ava finishes the season with a 16-6 record.