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The Bulldogs were unable to get their offense rolling at home, as the Honkers' pitching dominated the proceedings.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - Culver sophomore Aiden Guest nabs one of the Bulldogs' five hits during a 7-0 loss to Lakeview in the first round of the OSAA 2A/1A Baseball Championship tournament on Monday, May 23.

The Culver baseball team simply could not get the bats going on Monday night.

In the opening round of the 2A/1A state playoffs on Monday, May 23, the Bulldogs fell to visiting Lakeview 7-0 to bring their season to a close. The Bulldogs kept it close for most of the evening, but a few late mistakes — and a very strong performance from the opposing pitcher — put the Honkers through to the next round.

Culver nearly got on the board in the first inning after senior catcher Gabe Wilson and junior starting pitcher Logan Macy reached base with a pair of two-out singles, but a fly ball to center from freshman Jace Silbernagel was caught to end the rally. Lakeview responded with a couple two-out singles of their own in the very next frame, the latter of which scored the game's opening run from second base. Macy then recorded one of his eight total strikeouts to get out of the inning.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - Culver freshman Jace Silbernagel attempts to throw a runner out at home during the Bulldogs' 7-0 loss to Lakeview on Monday, May 23, in the first round of the OSAA 2A/1A Baseball Championship tournament.After quiet innings in the third and fourth, Lakeview went up 2-0 on a passed ball in the top of the fifth. In the following inning, the Honkers plated three more runs on consecutive plate appearances that included a Culver error, another passed ball and a wild pitch. Lakeview tacked on two more in the sixth with a pair of RBI singles to round out the scoring.

The Bulldogs managed hits here and there over the course of the game, but after the first inning, they were never able to get multiple runners on base at the same time. Lakeview senior Gavin Patterson pitched a complete game shutout, racking up 12 strikeouts to just one walk while giving up five hits. Meanwhile, Macy last five full innings before being replaced by freshman Houston Wittenberg with one out in the sixth. The pair combined for ten strikeouts on five walks and eight hits.

The closest Culver came to scoring was in the bottom of the sixth, when Wilson singled himself on base to start the inning and then advanced to third with just one out. As he did all night, Patterson dialed in for the Honkers and struck out the next two Bulldog batters to strand Wilson and end any threat of a late rally.

Culver closes out the year with a 17-8 record after taking third place in 2A/1A Special District 2. The Bulldogs bid farewell to four seniors, including Wilson, Brayden Macy, Braeden Chapman and Preston Madison, but they have a good crop of young players in tow for next year.

Logan Macy will be the resident elder as the team's only junior on the current roster, while five freshmen started in Monday's playoff game. Three of them — Silbernagel, Wittenberg and Carlos Fernandez — served as mostly everyday players in their first season with the team. With continued coaching and development from coaches Joey Graves and James Macy, look for Culver's young core to make its way back to the playoffs in 2023.

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