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The Hudson baseball team is heading to its first regional title game since 2000.
The Explorers earned a thrilling 4-1 victory over Aurora in eight innings in a Division I regional semifinal game May 29 at Thurman Munson Stadium.
With the win, Hudson (26-4) earned a date with Massillon Jackson, which scored a 3-2 victory over Mentor, in a regional championship game, which is scheduled for May 30 at Munson Stadium. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
Hudson scored three runs in the top of the eighth.
Jake Stuursma reached base when he got hit by a pitch to start the inning against right-handed reliever Adam Long.
Braden Wright and Dan Joseph drew back-to-back walks to load the bases and then Joey Cahill drove in the go-ahead run without taking the bat off his shoulders.
Cahill drew a bases-loaded walk from right-hander reliever Carter Semancik.
Kevin Zullo followed with a run-scoring ground out to short and then Jacob McKenzie made it 4-1 with a bunt single.
Zullo (7-1), a right-hander, avoided a two-out walk to finish the game. He finished with nine strikeouts and allowed just three hits in eight innings of work. The lone run he gave up was unearned.
That unearned run looked like it was going to be the difference in the game.
In the bottom of the sixth, Ben Stawicki reached on an infield error. After a sacrifice bunt moved Stawicki to second and a strikeout, Matt Carpenter drove in the Greenmen's only run with a single to left field.
The Explorers were down to their last out in the seventh when the game took a bizarre twist.
After Nanak Saran led off the top of the seventh with a single to left, Aurora (20-9) left-hander A.J. Kimes retired the next two batters.
With two outs, Kimes, who gave up no earned runs in seven innings of work, tried to pick off Saran, who was leaning in the wrong direction off second base.
But Kimes' throw went into center field.
Saran scored all the way from second as he slid just under the tag at home plate.
Kimes allowed just three hits and walked four batters. Hudson finished with two errors, while Aurora made one error.
For more, see the June 1 edition of the Hudson Hub-Times or click here.