TOPEKA — The opportunities, so numerous, came and went for Bishop Carroll in Saturday's Class 5A baseball championship game against Topeka Seaman.
Ultimately, they ran out.
"In situations where we've been able to score all year, we couldn't today," Carroll coach Charlie Ebright said. "We've told our kids all year long that we wanted to be playing on the last day of the season and to get this close... it's heart-wrenching."
Seaman used a three-run second inning — including a pair of runs with two outs — then held off a rally by the Eagles in the final innings on its way to a 4-3 victory. It was the third straight 5A title for the Vikings and the first time a team has won three straight 5A titles.
The Vikings won all three of their games at the state tournament by one run. Carroll finished the season 22-3.
"It doesn't get any easier, that's for sure," Seaman coach Steve Bushnell said. "My hat's off to Carroll for sure, they're a heck of a team."
The Vikings got to Carroll starter Aaron Jackson early, loading the bases with no outs. Seaman pushed one run across for a 1-0 lead and grounded into a double play before Ethan Schnieders delivered an RBI single and Eric Brown followed him with an RBI triple to make the score 3-0.
Schnieders scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning to make it 4-0.
"We made some mistakes that were really uncharacteristic of us tonight," Carroll catcher Tucker Chadd said. "You get in a hole like we did and it's going to be hard to dig your way out."
But Carroll did dig itself out, scoring a run in the fifth on an RBI groundout by Timmy Chadd then adding another in the fifth on an RBI single from Tanner Carpenter that scored Denton Howell.
Tucker Chadd's RBI single in the bottom of the seventh cut Seaman's lead to 4-3 and gave Carroll runners on first and third with one out, but third baseman Nolan Barrientos grounded into a double play to end the game.
The Eagles left eight runners stranded, including two in the second, third and fifth.
"I don't know if I can even put it into words how disappointed I am," Tucker Chadd said. "I thought we did a pretty good job this year but I guess, you know, it wasn't good enough."
Freshman Ryan Colombo got the win for Seaman, pitching six innings after throwing two innings and picking up the win in the Vikings' 7-6 win over Salina Central in the semifinal game earlier in the day.
Topeka Seaman (23-2) 030 100 0 — 4 6 0 Bishop Carroll (22-3) 000 110 1 — 3 8 4
Lansing 9, Salina Central 8
Salina Central (14-11) 052 010 0 — 8 12 2 Lansing (19-4) 400 014 x — 9 14 1
Carroll 4, Lansing 1
Lansing001 000 0 — 1 5 0 Bishop Carroll100 021 x — 4 4 1
T. Seaman 7, Salina Central 6
Salina Central (14-10) 010 401 0 — 6 11 2 Topeka Seaman (22-2) 101 202 1 — 7 8 0