After a 1-0 victory over Circle in the opening round of regionals, Andover Central took down Andale in the regional final by a score of 5-2 to earn a trip to the 4A-I state tournament.
After giving up two runs in the top of the first inning, Andover Central responded with two runs to tie the game and silence the Andale section. Brett Blackman reached on an error, and then advanced to second after Cooper Elliot drew a walk. A second Andale error allowed Blackman to score the Jaguars first run of the game. The Jaguars evened the score when Stratton Stamp singled to score Elliot.
Central added another run in the bottom of the second inning. Trey DeGarmo led off with a single, and then stole second base. A single from Jackson Lewallen scored DeGarmo to give Central their first lead of the game.
In the bottom of the fifth, Cooper Elliot reached second base due to some miscommunication by the Andale defense and some heads-up base running by Elliot. Austin Zellers reached second base in the next at-bat thanks to an Andale error, which allowed Elliot to score. Clark Schooner singled to score Zellers and give the Jaguars their fifth and final run of the game.
Austin Zellers earned the win for Central, pitching all seven innings. After giving up two runs in the first inning, Zellers threw six scoreless innings to finish the game.
“The defense with no errors and Austin (Zellers) only having one walk did a great job of limiting free baserunners,” said Andover Central head coach Grant Bacon.
Jackson Lewallen led the Jaguars offensively with two hits.
Central is now 16-6 on the season and will enter the 4A-I state tournament as the No. 3 seed. The Jaguars will face Ottawa (12-10) in the first round on Thursday, May 24 at Soden’s Grove Baseball Field with the first pitch scheduled for 1:15 p.m.