Major Redemption: Senior’s double lifts East after losing 7-0 lead

After a pair of his throwing errors helped Seymour overcome a 7-0 deficit and tie Friday night’s Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament third-place baseball game, Harry Major was happy to get a chance to redeem himself when he came to the plate with two on and two out in the bottom of the sixth.

Major got that redemption when he smacked a two-run double to left-center, giving Columbus East a 9-7 lead. Ethan Ianni then held the Owls in the seventh to finish off the win.

“I really wanted to make up for what I did out there,” Major said. “In a tie game with people on first and second, I thought it was a good time, and I waited on a pitch I could drive into the gap and score both runs.”

Major’s heroics allowed the Olympians (9-12-1) to escape after losing all of the 7-0 lead they had built after four innings. East’s Parker Harris was cruising along with a no-hitter through 4 2/3, but Seymour’s Bret Perry clubbed a two-out, three-run triple to cut the lead to 7-3.

The Owls then took advantage of Major’s throwing errors to score four unearned runs in the fifth to tie the game at 7-7. Ianni relieved Harris with the score 7-6, then gave up an RBI-single to Perry before getting the final out and setting up Major’s big hit.

“We had Ethan on the mound at that point, so we were like, we know they’re not going to score anymore after that,” Major said. “If we could just get a run in, I thought we could win the game.”

The Olympians got on the board with a run in the first when Will Rieckers singled, Josh Luedeke was hit by a pitch, Blake Borkhardt reached on a fielder’s choice and Alex McComb singled in Rieckers.

East added five runs in the second. Rieckers led off with a double, and Luedeke, Borkhardt and McComb followed with RBI-singles. Major came through with a two-out, two-run single to make it 6-0.

Borkhart led off the fifth with a towering home run to right to give the Olympians the 7-0 lead.

“We started out hitting the ball real well,” Gratz said. “Parker was throwing really well. They got a couple baserunners, and we made a couple mistakes, but we finished it out. We kept battling. I was happy with the way they swung the bats today.”

Borkhardt went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, and Major finished 3 for 5 with four RBIs. Luedeke went 2 for 3, McComb went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Rieckers went 2 for 4.

“It’s good because in all my years of high school, we haven’t made it past the first round (of the HHC Tournament),” Major said. “We can move on this and maybe end the season without any more losses.”

The Olympians beat Jeffersonville in the first round on Monday before falling 12-9 at Jennings County in Wednesday’s semifinals. New Albany beat Jennings in Friday’s HHC championship game.

“We try to win every game we play,” Gratz said. “We didn’t get our goal on Wednesday, but that happens and that’s baseball. We didn’t take care of business, and they played really well.“