Area teams find early success


Staff Report



On Saturday, the 2017 season kicked off in high gear with games all across the Southern Ohio area, with the vast majority of the schools participating in season-opening doubleheaders to start off their respective baseball and softball campaigns. All games are from Saturday.

BASEBALL

West 4, Eastern Brown 2

The West Senators overcame a two-run deficit by scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning — its final inning at the dish — to obtain a season-opening 4-2 win over Eastern Brown in the second of three affairs in West Portsmouth.

Cody Staggs and Tre Patrick accumulated a pair of hits to help West obtain the comeback victory over the Warriors, with Staggs knocking in a pair of runs in the game-deciding sixth inning.

L.T. Maynard and Todd Williams combined on the mound to put up a strong pitching performance as the pair threw 20 first-pitch strikes and obtained five strikeouts in the win. Mike Schmid’s two-RBI base knock in the top of the second was the only salvo that Eastern Brown was able to make in the contest.

Green 11, West 2

After defeating Eastern Brown by a 15-5 tally in the opening contest of the three affairs played at West, the Green Bobcats followed up their dominating efforts in the first game by notching another impressive win over the Senators in the final contest on Saturday afternoon.

Brothers Tayte Carver and Trevor Carver proved to be hard to handle throughout the afternoon as the pair combined for five of Green’s 11 hits and three RBI on their own, with the latter pitching a complete game and notching four strikeouts.

Most of their damage came in a six-run fourth inning for the Bobcats that blew the contest wide open after Green established a 2-0 inning over the first three innings of play. West got two runs back in the fifth, but the Bobcats added a run in the sixth and four runs in the seventh to close the game out.

Garrett Hurd notched a game-high four hits for the Senators and added three strikeouts in three innings of work. Dylan Bradford accumulated a half-dozen strikeouts in three additional innings of work for West.

With the resulting contests, Green starts the 2017 season with a 2-0 mark, while West fell to 1-1 on the year. Both teams will head into conference action on Wednesday, with the Bobcats entertaining Symmes Valley in a SOC I tilt and the Senators traveling to Northwest for a SOC II battle.

Clay 12, Peebles 2 (F/6)

The Clay Panthers started their season off in fine fashion on Saturday by scoring in all but the first inning and obtaining three runs in the fifth and sixth frames to take home a 12-2 mercy-rule victory over Peebles in six innings to kickstart their own 2017 campaign.

“It was good to win the first game of the season considering the limited amount of practice that we have had as a team,” Clay’s Marc Cottle stated.

Dakota Dodds helped spearhead the effort by putting together a fantastic start to his high school career. The freshman struck out 11 Peebles hands and allowed just two hits and two runs over his four and two-thirds innings of work. Dodds added a walk and a run scored to help his own cause. Drew Hadsell came on in relief and pitched an inning and a third of scoreless baseball while striking out three Indian batters.

“Dakota pitched very well but just got a little tired in the fifth,” Cottle said. “Drew came in and pitched well to finish things off.”

At the plate, another freshman came through with a big effort for the Panthers, as Reece Whitley went 1-for-2 at the dish with three RBI. The catcher also drew a pair of walks and scored a pair of runs to help head the Clay efforts. Cole Gilliland, who went 1-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored, Grant Hempill, who notched a 1-for-3, two-RBI, two-run effort, and Keith Cottle, who obtained two additional RBI on his 1-for-3 day at the dish, were among the additional standouts.

“Reece caught a good game and led us with three RBI,” Cottle said. “Cole really stepped up off of the basketball court for us and had a nice game with two RBI and a pair of runs.”

Northwest 15, Peebles 0 (F/5)

Like Clay, Northwest picked up a monstrous victory over Peebles in the Northwest Tri-Match that was held in McDermott on Saturday afternoon, as the Mohawks used a complete-game two-hitter from Aaron Maddy to romp to a 15-0 victory over Peebles in five innings.

Maddy, who struck out nine Indian batters in the performance, didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and only needed to throw 67 pitches in accumulating the complete-game performance. Northwest had already scored 10 runs by the time Maddy allowed his first hit, and the Mohawks were never threatened at any point.

Zach Rowe and Wyatt Litteral proved to be the catalysts for Northwest on the hitting end of the spectrum as the No. 2 and No. 3-hole hitters combined to go 5-for-7 for the contest with a pair of doubles and six runs scored. Litteral accumulated four RBI on his own.

“We got a strong outing out of Aaron,” J.M. Storer said. “Zach and Wyatt put together some nice at-bats and were big for us throughout the day.”

Northwest 11, Clay 7

An entertaining contest between two Scioto County foes ended with Northwest clipping Clay, 11-7, thanks to the persistency of Austin Mundhenk on the mound and the play of Zach Rowe, along with Wade Gillette at the top of the order.

Mundhenk, who threw 81 pitches in the contest, kept fighting and despite four errors by the Mohawks, never walked a batter drove over his six innings of work. He even helped his own cause by going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Rowe and Gillette combined for five hits and two RBI in seven at-bats and used their hitting efforts to score four runs on the basepaths.

“Our top of the order was strong all day,” Storer said. “Austin kept fighting, maintained his composure, and got a good win for us.”

As for Clay, the Panthers couldn’t find the handle on the pitching mound as Clay was forced to throw 147 pitches as a unit during the contest, with 99 of those coming from Brody Riffe and Keith Cottle. Nine hits and 11 walks proved to be too much for Clay to overcome during the contest as a six-run fourth proved to be its undoing.

“You won’t win any games when you walk 11 batters,” Cottle said. “Since I coach the pitchers, I’ve got to get that corrected.”

Despite the loss, Bradley McCleese put together a strong performance for the Panthers, notching three hits in four at-bats and driving in a run from the nine-hole. Dodds, Gilliland, and Hempill continued their solid performances from the first game by combining to go 4-of-11 with five RBI and three runs scored for Clay.

“I was pleased with our hitting in the second game, especially from Bradley,” Cottle said. “He did an excellent job at the bottom of the order. When you accumulate 13 hits in a contest, that’s a good building block.”

Clay (1-1) will host Manchester on Monday evening. Northwest (2-0), as mentioned, will host West in a SOC II showdown.

Chesapeake 12, Notre Dame 2 (F/6)

Notre Dame wasn’t able to obtain much traction in its season-opening contest with Chesapeake, falling by a 12-2 score to the Division III Panthers in a nonconference affair at Ironton.

Drew Cassidy and Tyler Speas led the way for the Titans, as Cassidy notched three hits while Speas drew a pair of walks. The pair also logged five and two-thirds innings of the workload on the mound for the Titans.

Notre Dame will host Portsmouth on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

SOFTBALL

Clay 5, Rock Hill 4 (F/6)

Despite an illness that has affected the leader of the Clay softball program, the Lady Panthers carried over their strong 2016 campaign right into 2017 with a 5-4 victory over a competitive Rock Hill club on Saturday.

After Clay scored two runs in the top half of the second inning, Rock Hill came right back with four runs of its own in the bottom half of the same frame. However, the Lady Panthers, undeterred, came back with three additional tallies in the top half of the third and held on the rest of the way to claim the victory.

Julia Swain and Shaelynn Vassar proved to be offensive catalysts for Clay, with the pair combining to go 4-for-8 on the day. The former added a double to the table, while the latter scored a run to help set the table for the win. Bre Donahoe and Chloi Hayslip added their own stamps on the affair by combining to go 4-for-6 during the contest and obtaining a pair of runs and RBI between them.

Clay 6, Portsmouth 1

After obtaining an impressive come-from-behind victory against Rock Hill, Clay continued its roll by notching another victory over a Division III opponent by defeating Portsmouth, 6-1, in Pedro behind a three-run sixth inning that put the contest out of reach.

Swain, once more, proved to be a central figure in the victory, as the dual-threat talent struck out seven Portsmouth batters while not allowing an earned run to cross the plate. She added a 2-for-4 day at the dish with a RBI and a run scored. Jensen Warnock’s 3-for-4 day that included an RBI, and Lila Brown’s 2-for-3 hitting performance with two runs scored capped off the Lady Panthers’ (2-0) performance.

Like Swain, Andi Queen was the face of the Lady Trojans’ efforts, both in the circle and at the plate. The senior struck out three batters and allowed just three earned runs to cross the plate, while going 1-for-3 at the dish with Portsmouth’s lone RBI for the contest.

West 11, South Point 2

Behind an incredible 23-hit performance, the West Lady Senators started the 2017 season off on the right foot with an 11-2 victory over South Point on Saturday.

Daisy May Holsinger, Kayleigh Coleman, and Madison Cochran proved to be the offensive show for West on the day, as the trio accumulated 10 hits on their own, with Holsinger’s four pacing the charge. Coleman’s two walks and Cochran’s two RBI, along with a two-RBI effort from Makayla White, helped lead the efforts.

Taylor Coleman proved to be solid as a rock on the mound as the junior struck out nine batters in a complete-game effort. Coleman recorded 28 first-pitch strikes in the win.

Chesapeake 8, West 7 (F/5)

In a heartbreaking defeat, West fell in its second contest to Chesapeake as the Lady Panthers obtained a walkoff victory over the Lady Senators, 8-7.

White led the charge for West with three hits for the contest, and the junior, along with fellow classmate Taylor Coleman willed the Lady Senators throughout. Coleman notched a four-RBI effort in the affair.

West (1-1) will travel to Piketon on Tuesday.

Staff Report