Story forehand

Batesville’s Grant Story slaps a forehand during Wednesday’s regional final at Richmond High School. The Bulldogs were eliminated by Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference foe Connersville, who moves on to the Center Grove semistate.

RICHMOND – It was a good ride for the Batesville High School boys tennis team, but it came to an abrupt end Wednesday evening (Oct. 9) at the regional finals hosted by Richmond.

The Connersville Spartans played some inspired tennis to capture the regional crown with a 4-1 victory.

CHS’ lineup was the same one used in a 3-2 Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference loss to the Bulldogs back on Aug. 22. As on that day, the Spartans again got wins from their No. 2 and 3 singles players, Jonah Graham and Gage Brown. This time around, Connersville added three-set victories on the second doubles court and at 1 singles.

Following Graham’s 6-1, 6-0 win over Grant Story, Batesville’s No. 1 doubles team of Seth Gausman and Adam Scott finished off a 6-4, 6-2 sweep of Sebastian Burch and Seth Spurlock despite being down 4-1 in the opening set.

With the team score knotted at one apiece, it came down to a best-of-three scenario. The Spartans had the upper hand as Dustin McCarrell and Dylan Bennington won a 6-2 set over Sam Voegele and Max Giesting, while Brown needed a tiebreaker to surge ahead of freshman Cael Rahe.

At No. 1 singles, Lleyton Ratcliffe topped CHS’ Gavin Parsley in the initial set, 6-3.

Connersville stormed ahead 4-1 in both the No. 3 singles and 2 doubles matches. Those wins clinched the championship ahead of Parsley’s comeback over Ratcliffe.

In Tuesday’s semifinals, the Bulldogs and Spartans narrowly advanced with 3-2 victories. Batesville got by Knightstown and Connersville surprised the host Red Devils.

The Bulldogs swept the doubles competition against the Panthers, Scott/Gausman and Voegele/Giesting earning key points for the team. Rahe was the deciding factor as he pulled off the win at No. 3 singles.

Batesville finishes the year at 12-6. Connersville makes an extremely rare appearance in the team semistate on Saturday, traveling to Center Grove for a matchup against Terre Haute South.

Will Fehlinger can be contacted at sports@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 220112

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