Sugar Valley baseball falls 7-5 to Neumann

The Sugar Valley baseball team ended its season on as high of a note as possible without walking away with their first win of the season.

The Phoenix took an early advantage over the surging Neumann Regional Academy Knights as they fought to end their season with a victory. Neumann answered the Sugar Valley challenge tying the game in the bottom of the first before Sugar Valley regained the lead in the fifth, only to have their final chance at victory thwarted by the potential No. 2 seed Knights in the District 4 playoffs.

Sugar Valley Rural, in only its fourth year of having a baseball program have slowly but surely improved season by season and game by game. The team that would typically lose to a district playoff No. 2 seed by 15 runs, had a team that had won 10 of its last 12, with their backs against the wall late into a game. The confidence showed across the board led by Jake Thomas gobbling up everything that came near third base.

“We have a couple guys coming in that have played and have more experience, they’ve brought the message home that we as coaches have tried to bring to the other players. The improvement has shown by play. Our first-year players are playing up and past their level. Our seniors, the guys whom today is their last game have been great leaders,” head coach Chuck Walizer said proudly of his squad after the tough loss.

The Phoenix will lose Josh Weaver, Jake Thomas, and Garrett Walize,r all who have played a major role in the program since its inception.

Sugar Valley was led by big days from Josh Weaver and Corbin Homan at the plate.

“The biggest thing I can say is the adversity we’ve faced throughout the year has helped them do it. The past couple weeks we’ve focused on playing the game, not the opponent. Situations are going to change, opponents are different every time so I’m proud of how they battled,” Walizer said about keeping his clubhouse motivated even during a winless season.

Sugar Valley finished the season 0-20 but if progress is worth a win, they’ve earned quite a few this season.

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