Elks get Swept out of Playoffs, 12-0 and 6-2
By Will Johnson
EAST TEXAS – The Elkhart Elks ran into a wall in the Area round of the playoffs as they took on the West Trojans. The Elks were riding high after their 4-0 defeat of the Mildred Eagles in Bi-District but in Game One of the best-of-three series against the Trojans, Elkhart came crashing back to earth as the fell by a final score of 12-0.
Tyler Kaluza got the start for the Trojans and made quick work of the Elks in the first inning. He got Zerick Warren to fly out to left, coaxed a groundout to third from Bryson Adair and then forced Landry Mays to pop out to right.
Jon Michael Mahon got the nod for Elkhart and should have had an easy inning. Kaluza led off and reached on an error. Kade Klaus lined out to short and was followed by Jack Hamilton who fouled out.
A single from Jarek Rozyskie brought Kaluza home to make the score 1-0, but on the play Rozyskie was thrown out at second to end the inning.
Mahon tried to get things going for the Elks in the top of the second. He led off with a single but was picked off at first. Bryce Rodgers was up next and struck out while Cole Evans followed with a pop up to end the Elkhart second inning.
The bottom of the second saw Mahon dominate the Trojans. After a lead-off walk to Landon Edwards, Mahon popped up Blaine Browder and Mikey van Zandt. Then, he caught Rendon Dobecka looking at strike three to end the inning and move the game to the third.
Not to be outdone, Kaluza sat the Elks down in order to open the third. He struck out Justin Rea and Holden Bush for the first two outs and then got Brooks Torma to ground into a 4-3 force.
When the Trojans came to bat in the third, the wheels came off for Elkhart as West plated five runs.
The Elks did not have a response in the top of the fourth and then the Trojans added six more to their total to make the final score 12-0.
Mahon took the loss for Elkhart. He gave up 12 runs (three earned) on nine hits. He also struck out two and walked five.
Kaluza picked up the win for West as went five innings and allowed no runs on two hits.
While Game One was a blowout win for West, Game Two was close until the seventh inning.
The Trojans took an early 1-0 lead in the third when Kaluza grounded out to short but on the play, Rendon Dobecka was able slide home safely with the game’s first run.
The score remained 1-0 until the top of the seventh when West hung a five spot on Elkhart.
With the score now 6-0, the Elks had one last chance. Landry Mays led off with a strike out but Mahon followed and reached base on an error. Bryce Rodgers drew a walk and moved Mahon over to second. A strike out of Jones kept Mahon at second and Rodgers at first.
Justin Rea was hit by a pitch to load the bases and set the table for Brooks Torma. Torma delivered a two-out base rap to drive in both Mahon and Rodgers. On the play, Rea moved to second and it seemed the Elks might have a chance.
It was not meant to be, however, as Zerick Warren grounded into a 6-4 force to end the game.
The win gave West the series victory – 2-0 – and moves them into the Regional Quarterfinals.
The loss for Elkhart ended their season with a record of 18-14.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.