The Harrisburg High School baseball team knocked on the door, but No one answered.
What's been Harrisburg's Achilles heel all season — an inability to score runs —came back to clip them in a stunning 3-2 extra inning loss to Shelbyville Thursday night in the IHSA Class 2A Sectional semifinal in Teutopolis.
The events that transpired in the bottom of the seventh inning was something that Harrisburg head coach Jay Thompson said just can't happen.
With the score knotted at 2 in the bottom of the frame Harrisburg went to work loading the bases with no outs.
The end result was the Bulldogs failing to score any runs.
Ryne Roper hit into a double play as Nick Davis was forced at home. That followed a Cody Hall line out to right field.
The inning started with promise as Davis reached base on an error and Nick Vallete was hit by a pitch.
Shelbyville then switched out starter Eli Miller for Andrew Hankins.
Hankins' first pitch sailed to the backstop putting runners on second and third before Sykes Thompson reached safely.
Still, Harrisburg had no hits in the inning and didn't have much to show for it in the end as the Bulldogs finished with just four hits on the night, while Miller fanned nine.
"You think about it, that can't happen," said Jay Thompson. "It can't happen. There are so many things that went wrong in that one minute that I could point to three or four things that just one little better thing and we win the game."
The missed opportunity in the bottom of the frame gave Shelbyville all the momentum heading into the eighth as Luke Hatfield tripled over Noah Vallette in right field, issuing the end of the night for Hall as Harrisburg's starter. Nate Standerfer stepped in and blooped a Roper pitch into right field for the game's winning run.
Hall took the loss, going seven innings and striking out seven. The Lincoln Trail signee scattered six hits and allowed three runs.
Harrisburg (30-5) drew first blood in the bottom of the third when Sykes Thompson delivered the Bulldogs' first hit of the game into left field.
Roper then doubled into right center putting Thompson at third.
Hall executed a perfectly placed bunt as Harrisburg put the squeeze on, scoring Thompson. A Cooper Thompson sac-fly scored Roper.
That lead was short lived however as Shelbyville knotted the score at 2 in the top of the fifth inning.
Harrisburg left six runners stranded Wednesday night in Effingham County, including runners at third base in the bottom of the fifth and bottom of the sixth.
Page 2 of 2 - Roper finished 2-for-4, while Hall also went 2-for-4, adding an RBI. Sykes Thompson finished 2-for-3 and Cooper Thompson went 1-for-2 with an RBI.
"They say baseball is a funny game. If we wanted to line it up the way we wanted to line it up, that's how we line it. Somehow it worked out not only well, it worked out the worst possible way. It's just part of it. Cody pitched great. We played great in the field. I just thought we acted overmatched at the plate and that's very disappointing."