BELLEVUE — The regular season meetings were back-and-forth and close.
So, it only seemed fitting that Saturday’s matchup between the Northeast and Monticello baseball teams followed suit.
A combined three runs separated the two squads during a June doubleheader, which featured a seventh-inning rally in the opener and a tie game midway through the nightcap.
The Rebels took both of the regular season games, but it was the Panthers, who came up with the big victory in Saturday’s district quarterfinal, breaking a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 6-4 victory.
Monticello built a 2-0 lead with individual runs in the second and fourth inning, both of them coming on pick-offs that turned into double steals.
Quickly after that second run, however, Northeast seized the momentum.
Senior Ty Cain led off the top of the fifth with a double and Jimmy Weispfenning followed with a sacrifice bunt before Dakota Stevenson got the Rebels on the board with an RBI-single.
Stevenson stole second base and then third, which proved to be big as Cade Hughes hit a two-out tapper that stayed fair, allowing the junior to scamper home with the tying run.
Senior Anthony Adney was up next, and his hit — the Rebels’ fourth of the inning — cleared the fence in left field for his second home run of the season.
The blast capped off a four-run inning and put the Rebels in front 4-2.
Monticello, though, answered back, socking a two-run, two-out double that knotted the score up at four.
The Rebels earned back-to-back two-out walks from Cain and Weispfenning in the top of the sixth, but could not pull in front.
The Panthers, though, were able to break through in the bottom of the inning.
The first four Monticello batters all singled to plate the go-ahead run, and a later sacrifice fly added an insurance run.
All three Northeast batters in the seventh hit the ball into the outfield, but Monticello got the three outs it needed to end the game.
The Rebels, who bow out at 5-21, had eight hits in the game, including a team-high two from Stevenson, who also made the start — he and Hughes combined for four strikeouts.
Riley Wolfe, Hughes, Adney, Sam Moraetes, Caleb Gruhn and Cain also had hits, with Adney driving in a pair with his home run.