The Commerce Tigers (20-13) finished their 2018 season in an 8-7 extra-inning loss on Tuesday afternoon to ECI in a winner-take-all to go to the 1A quarterfinals.
Commerce had won the series opener on Monday, 2-0 behind another gem of a performance by Charlie Ledford. Game two Monday evening went to ECI, 7-4, which set up the rubber match on Tuesday.
The Tigers got a boost from Jacob Welch, who homered twice in the game, both times either tying or giving Commerce the lead. However, ECI struck for three runs in the fifth to go up 6-3, and time appeared to be running out on the Tigers.
Commerce was the home team for the finale, and in the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers pulled out some magic to tie the game at 6 apiece. Neither team got a run across in the seventh, taking the game to extras. ECI got two runs in the top half, and the Tigers left it all on the field, bringing in one run to finish just shy in the 8-7 loss.
Commerce’s 20-win season is the first such kind since at least 2012, and the Sweet 16 appearance was the fifth straight postseason run for the Tigers, who also made the quarterfinals in 2015.