SPRINGFIELD — The Seneca Indians finished the regular season 12-12 overall with a 4-2 loss Monday to Class 4 state-ranked Springfield Catholic.
Springfield Catholic’s Will Duff — a Vanderbilt commit — played hero with a two-run walk-off home run breaking the 2-all score.
Duff had two of Springfield Catholic’s nine hits and drove in three of the Fighting Irish’s four runs.
Seneca scored one run in the fourth and one in the sixth, while Springfield Catholic scored one in the fourth and one in the fifth.
Alex Cook and Parker Wolfinbarger each had two hits, combining for 80 percent of Seneca’s five hits, and Gavin Clouse rounded out the hits with his one and he scored both Seneca runs. Clouse was hit by a pitch and stole three bases.
On the mound, Clouse took a no-decision and he allowed two runs (both earned) on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings and he struck out seven and walked two. Clouse finished with 105 pitches and he fired 12 of his 63 overall strikes on the first pitch.
Kale Schrader took the loss and he allowed two runs and the Duff home run for the only hit.
Seneca enters the postseason on a three-game losing streak, a streak that started after the Indians rattled off five straight wins to go from 7-9 to 12-9.
The Indians have been streaky this season — 5-0 to start the year and then losses in seven of nine games to go to 7-9.
Seneca earned the No. 2 seed and opening bye in Class 4, District 12 play and the Indians wait in the semifinals Monday on the winner between No. 3 Nevada and No. 6 East Newton.
Nevada and Seneca did not play each other in the regular season. (Nevada ended Seneca’s season at districts in both 2015 and 2016, including an 18-inning game in 2015.)
Seneca rolled to a 14-0 win over East Newton when they played April 26 and that was the second win for the Indians during their five-game winning streak.
In that 14-0 win, Clouse pitched an abbreviated two-hit gem, as the Indians won by run-rule in five innings. Clouse struck out four and walked two.
Meanwhile, offensively, Clouse and Cook each drove in three runs and Wolfinbarger and Zach Cox each picked up two RBI. Dawson Stephens had three hits and scored four runs, while Monty Mailes, Clouse, Cook, Schrader, and Wolfinbarger each had two hits.
The Indians scored their 14 runs on 15 hits.
At districts last season, Seneca reached the semis after beating Cassville in the opening game and that was the first semifinal appearance for Seneca since …
This season’s No. 2 seed represents the first time the Indians have been a top seed since 2013, when the Indians were the top seed in Class 4, District 11 and won the title on their home field