Raiders’ baseball season ends in regional semifinal loss to Chiles

Navarre’s remarkable run in the baseball postseason came to an end Tuesday night in Tallahassee.

It ended with a 3-0 loss to Chiles in a Region 1-7A semifinal, the loss coming on a night when the Raider simply couldn’t get their offense untracked.

They managed only three hits, including two by Conner Lovell, and Ryan Catyb took the loss, giving up two runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings of work.

Navarre, which had its 13-game win streak snapped, finishes the year at 20-7.

It was an uphill climb the entire night.

The Raiders failed to get a hit or score a run in the first four innings of action.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves racked up five hits during that time and put two runs on the board in the third for a 2-0 lead.

Junior ace Matt Cronin, who did not start, replaced Ryan Catyb in the third and struck out two batters in that inning. He struck out another batter in the fourth.

The Raiders had scored 28 runs in their first four tournament games. It was a different story against Chiles. Navarre didn’t get its first hit until Lovell came through with one in the fifth.

But the Raiders failed to score a run in the inning. The Timberwolves did score, however, pushing their lead to 3-0 through five innings of play.

Chiles went down in order in the sixth as Cronin struck out two of the three batters he faced.

The Raiders, who have played with confidence all season, didn’t go down without a fight. They put two runners on in the top of the seventh thanks to base hits by Lovell and Dusty Rogers but couldn’t get a runner home.

Cronin was brilliant in relief, striking out seven in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up two hits and finishes his season with a single-season school record of 143 strikeouts.

The Raiders had a remarkable postseason run despite the fact that it ended on a sour note. They won a district championship for the first time since 2002 and opened the regional tourney last Thursday with a 4-1 win over Tallahassee Lincoln.

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