GOSHEN — The seven seniors on the Westview High School baseball team had the ultimate goal of playing for a state championship.
While they didn’t make that goal it was not for a lack of trying. The Warriors were fighting till the very end of an 18-inning Class 2A regional championship marathon that lasted nearly six hours Saturday evening at Whiting.
The Warriors battled perennial state powerhouse Lafayette Central Catholic, a team that has now won 38 consecutive postseason games, before the Knights emerged with an 8-3 victory.
“It was quite a game to say the least,” Westview coach Jason Rahn said. “We started right at 6 o’clock local time and it was close to midnight before we got done. I got to my house at 3 a.m.”
Tarrin Beachy, Hunter Christner, Kohle Christner, Cody Criswell, Jamin Lambright, Jamar Weaver and Judah Zickafoose were the Westview upperclassmen.
“The game was stressful with all the going back and forth,” Weaver said. “It was a fun game to play in even though we lost.”
Zickafoose added, “It was definitely the longest game I’ve ever played in. Extra-inning games are fun and one the lasts 18 innings you have got to stick with.
“I would rather lose the game the way we did than get blown out or shutout. The game was so close that one pitch or one swing at any time could have ended it.”
Beachy added, “As a senior when you see a sport season end it is disappointing. This one was harder than the others I’ve been through. There is such a closeness on this team. We are really a tight brotherhood.”
Earlier in the day, the Warriors posted a 5-2 win over Fort Wayne Canterbury.
“Twenty five innings in one day is a lot of baseball,” Rahn said. “(Senior) Kohle Christner caught all 25. He had his graduation open house on Sunday and I’m sure he was sitting down.”