Written By: Alex Brophy
LAFAYETTE, IN – The 2022 regular season ended tonight with the Lafayette Aviators dropping a 3-2 loss to the playoff-bound Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp. A low-scoring game came down to the final inning when Lafayette allowed a two-RBI double that gave Illinois Valley the one-run lead. While the score was not favorable, the play on the field was terrific until the end.
Illinois Valley came into the game already with a playoff spot. Their lineup was filled with hitters who usually pitched and utility players filling up spots in the lineup. The Pistol Shrimp successfully stole an extra victory heading into the postseason. All game long, there was no answer at the plate. Their only spark was in the sixth inning when Justin Rios scored off a single and advancement from an error in left field.
The Aviators opened their final game with the 36th home run of the year when Ethan Bedgood smacked a two-run shot just over the right-field wall, sending in Mike Snyder for a pair of RBI. Lafayette wouldn’t score again and left a total of 11 runners on base. Although the bats were cold, the pitcher’s arms were flaming hot! Starting pitcher, Connor Fries pitched five full innings and surrendered five hits, one run, and punched out nine batters. Judson Schaper, the reliever, came in even hotter than Fries. He pitched merely two innings but fanned out five of his six batters. All Lafayette pitchers combined for 15 total punchouts.
Finally, after 15 total strikeouts and nine runners left on base, Zach Lane a relief pitcher occupying the lineup hit a two-RBI double into left field. Bougie and Quandt ran in for the score and took a 3-2 lead.
Lafayette finished the season 25-33 and fourth in the Wabash River Division. They had a winning 18-11 record at home but were unable to make the postseason.