ALBIA — Junior third baseman Griffin Osing started an inning-ending double play, then started the biggest scoring rally of the night for either team with a lead-off double to open a four-run frame for the Albia Blue Demons Saturday night against Davis County in the first round of Class 2A, District 12 play. Senior pitcher Ethan Gray made those runs more then hold up, allowing just one unearned run over 5 1/3 innings as Albia ended the Mustangs’ run of three consecutive trips to state officially on Saturday with a 6-1 at the Albia Summer Sports Complex.
The Mustangs missed out on early opportunities to put runs on the scoreboard, leaving two runners on in the first innings and stranding the bases loaded in the third. Davis County mustered only five hits off Albia pitching as both Gray, relief hurler Victor Sanders and a stellar effort by the infield Blue Demon defense shut down almost every opportunity for Davis County to get back into the contest.
The Mustangs finish what was much more of a rebuilding year after a three-year stretch of unprecedented success for the program at 14-19. Albia, meanwhile, will return to their home diamond Tuesday with a 21-16 record to host PCM (19-14) in the nightcap of a Class 2A, District 12 doubleheader at approximately 7 p.m.
Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (26-13) will face Colfax-Mingo (18-18) in the first 2A, District 12 semifinal on Tuesday in Albia The Tigerhawks advanced to the meeting with the Rockets by winning a 3-2 thriller over Pella Christian in Saturday’s first game in Albia as Connor Hainer had a go-ahead hit in the sixth inning while senior pitcher Jake Alexander struck out back-to-back batters after the Eagles loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh.
Other area baseball district openers on Saturday saw Moravia outslug Bluegrass rival Seymour 19-7 in a Class 1A, District 10 opener, ending the Warriors season at 0-10. The Mohawks (4-23) will host second-ranked Twin Cedars Tuesday at 7 p.m. following a 5 p.m. contest between Moulton-Udell and Mormon Trail in a pair of district semifinals.