With Andrew Houghton on third and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Matt Perez, who doubled to right and advanced on a groundout by Trey Oates, sharply hit a ground ball to second but couldn’t beat the throw to first.
Alexander took its first lead of the game in the eighth when Tyler Hughes’ pitch to Baylor Whitfield was mishandled and Brandon Bone scored.
In the seventh, the War Eagles had a chance to leave the field in thrilling fashion with Steven Taylor on third and Michael Toner at the plate but Taylor was tagged out trying to steal home.
Before the runs started to pile up, there was a pitching duel between Chris McGrath and CJ Fehribach. McGrath struck out 11 batters and didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning.
In the fifth, Marist finally broke through against Fehribach when Oates induced a walk and stole second and third. Then with Perez looking to bunt, Oates scored on a suicide squeeze play for a 1-0 advantage. The War Eagles tacked on two more runs in the frame when Parker Mathes doubled to left and Matt McGee singled to right, respectively.
But the Cougars had a response in the sixth. First, Brian Danserau doubled to score Aeneas Williams. Then Cody Worthy doubled to center to plate Marc Kennedy and Danserau for a 3-3 tie.
However in the seventh, Marist pushed its way back in front on an RBI double by Toner and an RBI single by Sam Galanek. Yet once again, Alexander responded. Williams singled to plate TJ Proulx and Morgan Foulks scored on a fielder’s choice by Kennedy.
Marist finished the season with a 25-4 record. Also in the Class AAAA, the defending-champion Redan Raiders were eliminated from playoff contention due to a 12-0 loss to Carrollton last Thursday. As a result, there will be two new teams in the finals which are scheduled to begin May 24.