The baseball went high in the air, and it looked like the 42nd District title game was about to be all tied up.
When it finally came down, the Bryan Station bench erupted. The Defenders were on their way to a second consecutive district championship.
Station sent 10 batters to the plate in a wild, four-run sixth inning and defeated favored Scott County 6-3 on Tuesday night to head to the 11th Region Tournament on a hot streak.
The Cardinals, who had already beaten Station twice this season, led 3-1 going into the sixth. With one out, Defenders senior right fielder Elijah Burdette doubled to start the rally. Senior designated hitter D.J. Perkins followed with a single, and senior shortstop Kollin Probst doubled in Burdette to close the deficit to 3-2.
Next up was senior catcher Jordan Lewis, and that's when things got crazy.
With runners on second and third, Lewis lofted a ball into center field, where Scott County's Austin Downey seemed to be in position for what would have been a sacrifice fly and the second out of the inning.
"I saw him camped under it, and I was like, 'Well, at least I'm going to get the run in from the sacrifice,'" Lewis said. "And then I looked up and the ball was at the fence."
The ball landed several feet behind Downey, who apparently lost the high fly in the lights. The two Bryan Station baserunners scored, and Lewis slid into third base as shortstop Bo Saunders' throw sailed into the Defenders dugout. Lewis was given the free base, and his run gave Station an improbable 5-3 advantage.
"I was yelling the whole time, 'We're tagging! Tie ball game!'" said Defenders Coach Eddie Brooks. "Then it landed behind him, and I was like, 'We're off to the races.' That center fielder is an unbelievable player, and it's just unfortunately one of those things that happens in baseball."
It was the second straight night that the Defenders had come up with a little late-inning magic on their home field. They rallied from a 4-0 deficit to beat Henry Clay 5-4 in Monday's semifinals.
Neither outcome surprised Brooks.
"I've got a senior-dominated team, and they showed up the last two games with that never-die, never-surrender attitude," he said. "They played with a lot of heart and just found a way to get the job done tonight."
Bryan Station and Scott County will both advance to the 11th Region Tournament, which starts Monday at Madison Central.
Bryan station 4, Scott County 2
Bryan Station 000 104 1 — 6 8 4
Scott County 100 110 0 — 3 6 2
Brandon McIntosh, Ryan Springer (6) and Jordan Lewis (BS). Lucas Mudd, Patrick Hughes (6), Chase Martin (7) and Alden Gruchow (SC). 2B — Jordan Lewis (BS), Elijah Burdette (BS) and Kollin Probst (BS).
Ben Roberts twitter: @NextCats. Blog: ukrecruiting.bloginky.com