Hazen upset in Region Tournament
By Jarann Johnson
The Hazen Astros hadn’t been beaten in a region counter and were the top seed and favorite to win the Region tournament. Most thought that something would have to go terribly wrong for Hazen to miss getting into the state tournament. But those fans were forgetting that Hazen was without two key players for the tournament – Mason Wiedrich and Connor Doll.
Wiedrich, one of the team’s key pitchers during the high school season, wasn’t on the roster for the tournament and utility man Doll was as a church event. Being down two arms but and wanting to save their strongest pitchers Hazen threw Brian Sitz in the first game against Burlington a No. 5 seed.
Sitz had a tough first inning and faced every hitter in Burlington’s lineup. The starting pitcher gave up 3 first inning runs but recovered over the next three with scoreless innings, but Hazen’s offense was in a slump.
Hazen couldn’t produce any runs and had trouble solving Burlington’s pitcher. At the end of the fifth the score was 5-0 and Hazen elected to give Metzger the ball to finish out the game.
Metzger didn’t let Burlington’s lead grow over the last two innings but the offense did little to spark a comeback. Heading into the bottom of the seventh Hazen trailed 5-0.
Hazen did make a run late in the game and scored three runs but they couldn’t get close than that. Austin Hintz batted with the tying run on second but was retired to end the game.
Hazen suffered a 5-3 and only registered one hit in defeat. But they still had a chance at state, all they needed to do was win the single elimination side of the bracket.