Polk County’s hopes for a third straight Western Highlands Conference baseball title ended Tuesday as Mountain Heritage handed the Wolverines a 7-5 setback at The Bottoms.
The loss, combined with Madison’s 10-4 win over Owen, secured the 2021 title for the Patriots. Polk dropped to 7-6 overall, 6-3 in WHC play, with Thursday’s game at Mountain Heritage its final contest of the regular season.
Polk County has already secured the WHC’s automatic berth into the state 1A playoffs that begin next week.
Defensive lapses hurt Polk County as the Wolverines committed five errors. Starter Micah Hill took the loss, striking out nine and allowing eight hits in five innings, but only two of the seven runs he allowed were earned.
The Cougars (4-6, 3-5) built a 7-0 lead through three and a half innings before Polk rallied in the bottom of the fourth with four runs. Coble Cameron reached on an error – one of six that Mountain Heritage committed – and scored on Jackson Beiler’s double. Casey Beiler added a one-out double to drive in courtesy runner Shane Parris and make it 7-2.
Jon Edwards reached on another Cougar miscue, with Beiler moving to third, and stole second. Back-to-back errors allowed both runners to score and make it 7-4.
Polk County added a run in the seventh as Angus Weaver reached on a dropped third strike, stole second, stole third and scored on an error.
The Wolverines had just four hits in the game, those from Cameron, Jackson Beiler, Casey Beiler and Edwards.
COUGAR JVS WIN: Mountain Heritage also earned an 8-6 victory in the junior varsity matchup that followed the varsity game.
Gabe Alvarado and Cohen Edwards each finished 2-for-3 for the Wolverines, with Edwards driving in two runs. Thomas Bowen was 1-for-1 with two RBI.
Polk County drew 12 walks in the game, but Mountain Heritage rapped out 10 hits to claim the win.
The two teams meet again Thursday in Burnsville in the final regular-season game for Polk County.