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BLOOMINGTON — The way Columbus East ended its baseball season Monday wasn’t the way the Olympians wanted to head into the offseason.
But the way a young East team played over the final three weeks gives it hope for next season. The Olympians lose only one senior from a team that finished 10-17 and upset East Central in Wednesday’s sectional opener before being no-hit by Columbus North’s Hunter McIntosh in a 4-0 loss Monday.
East had a golden opportunity in the top of the sixth Monday. Trailing 2-0, they loaded the bases with one out on a hit batsman, a walk and an error, but McIntosh induced a pop fly and a strikeout to end the threat.
“We just have to hit the ball better,” East coach Jon Gratz said. “McIntosh is a good pitcher, but bottom line, we just have to hit the ball better.”
The Olympians lose second baseman and No. 2 pitcher Kellen Otto to graduation, but return everyone else, including its other three main pitchers in sophomores Peyton Gray and Dakota Glenn and junior Brian Wichman. Also back will be junior shortstop-second baseman-center fielder Ben Harpring, sophomore catcher Christian Wichman and junior third baseman Cody Edwards.
“We have a lot of optimism,” Gratz said. “We have a ton of young talent on our team. Our varsity guys, all the way down to JV and freshmen, we have a lot of talent throughout our program, so we’re looking forward to the next few years here. We’ll really miss Kellen, though, and his leadership and work ethic.”
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