Area teams take care of business


Staff Report



It’s always a neat thing when two area teams take care of business against comers from outside of the area lines.

Clay and Minford did just that on Monday evening, with the former defeating Manchester, 6-1 and the latter winning a wild affair against Zane Trace, 13-7, that saw lightning erupt in the sky and the bats. South Webster continued its undefeated roll with a 15-3 victory over East in five innings.

Also included in Wednesday’s roundup is the efforts of the Portsmouth softball team, who went 1-1 over the weekend at Rock Hill, the Portsmouth baseball program, the Portsmouth tennis unit, who defeated Hillsboro, 4-1, over the weekend as well, and a tennis matchup between Minford and West.

Monday

BASEBALL

Clay 6, Manchester 1

Behind a combined two-hitter from Keith Cottle, Devon Holcomb, and Brody Riffe, the Clay Panthers moved to 2-1 on the 2017 season with a victory over the Manchester Greyhounds at home Monday evening.

After the pitching staff threw nearly 140 pitches in an 11-7 loss at Northwest, Cottle, Holcomb, and Riffe threw only 99 in the 6-1 win while allowing just two hits in the process.

Cottle received the decision, as the senior threw three and one-third innings of one-hit baseball while striking out three and walking only one in 49 pitches. Holcomb worked two and two-thirds on the mound, allowing only one hit and one run while also striking out three and walking just one batter. Riffe pitched a scoreless seventh frame as the Panthers, aided by a defense that didn’t commit any errors on the evening, picked up the victory.

“It was great to get the win tonight against a good, well-coached team in Manchester,” Cottle said. “I’m very proud of our entire team, but most of all, our pitchers. To only allow two hits and walk two batters is a tremendous improvement over the performance that we had as a staff against Northwest. Tanner Richards aided the cause with the plays that he made with the glove over at third base.”

From a hitting standpoint, Clay was led by Drew Hadsell, who went 2-for-3 at the dish with a RBI and a run scored, and Grant Hempill, who went 1-for-2 at the plate with two RBI, two walks and a run scored. McGwire Garrison and Devon Holcomb combined to go 2-for-4 at the plate, with the latter recording two runs scored at the bottom of the order, to round out the Panthers’ efforts.

Clay will host Eastern on Wednesday in its SOC I opener and will return to action on Friday as the Panthers and the Eagles get together for a second SOC I bout.

Minford 13, Chillicothe Zane Trace 7 (F/6 2/3)

The Minford Falcons used an offensive explosion on Monday evening to open its 2017 slate with a 13-7 victory over Zane Trace on Monday evening in a contest that was shortened by a third of an inning due to lightning.

Minford (1-0) was led by Jacob McCaleb, who used his efforts to fuel the Falcons to its season-opening victory. The senior went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Matt Gullett, Reid Shultz, and Eric Cook each went 2-for-4 with two RBI on the evening.

However, they were far from the only stars on the evening for Minford. Leadoff hitter Brayden Davis — only a freshman — went 1-for-2 with two walks. Luke Lindamood also went 2-for-4 during the affair. And Ethan Louder, along with freshmen Nathan McCormick and Bailey Rowe, all went 1-for-3 with the latter pair grabbing a pair of RBI.

Minford will host Waverly at home on Wednesday and will travel to Waverly on Friday for a pair of SOC II matchups against the Tigers.

South Webster 15, East 3 (F/5)

The South Webster Jeeps’ baseball program continued its torrid start to the 2017 campaign by scoring nine runs in the first inning in a 15-3 victory over East on Monday evening.

South Webster (3-0), who scored 14 runs over the first two innings, only needed seven hits to accumulate its 16 runs. Caleb Cunningham, who received the start, needed only two innings to obtain the win. The freshman didn’t give up an earned run and allowed just one hit on the mound.

At the plate, South Webster was led by Matthew Shonkwiler, who went 2-for-2 at the plate with a double, three RBI, and two runs scored. Blake Fulk and Jacob Ruth each went 1-for-1 with two RBI and four runs scored, and Alek Blevins went 1-for-2 with a double, a RBI, and three runs scored. Trevor Coriell and Shane Zimmerman capped off the effort by going 1-for-2 at the plate with a pair of RBI, a double, and a run.

Tyler Winston led the Tartans’ (0-1) efforts on the evening by going 2-for-4 at the plate with a RBI and a run scored. Brayden Gifford, Kyle Cade, and Brayden Queen each grabbed a hit during the contest, as well.

CORRECTION FROM TUESDAY’S PAPER: South Webster will host Wheelersburg on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m., with the Jeeps heading over to play the Pirates on the return trip at the same time.

TENNIS

Minford 4, West 1

The Minford Falcons picked up a season-opening victory over the West Senators, 4-1, in a highly competitive tennis match that saw two of the three singles matches go to tiebreakers.

In the No. 1 slot, Minford’s Caden Wilcox defeated West’s Leo Stein, 7-6 and 6-4. Wilcox won the first set tiebreaker, 7-5. West’s Blaine Weaver, however, came up with an answer, by defeating Eric Riffe via 6-1 and 7-6 counts. Weaver also won the first set tiebreaker by a 7-5 margin.

Despite a three-set match, Minford’s No. 3 singles hand, Alex Chan, was able to pull away and defeat West’s Cain Lewis by winning the first and third sets by 6-2 margins. Lewis won the second set, 6-1. The Falcons’ Zach Hammon and Lakin Smith, along with Minford’s Josh Wyehle and Josh Muck, took home straight-set victories over West’s Joel Durant and Chris Dials to close out the match.

Minford hosted Valley today and will host Wheelersburg on Thursday at 4:30.

No. 1 singles — Caden Wilcox (Minford) def. Leo Stein (West) 7-6 (7-2), 6-4

No. 2 singles — Blaine Weaver (West) def. Eric Riffe (Minford) 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)

No. 3 singles — Alex Chan (Minford) def. Cain Lewis (West) 6-2, 1-6, 6-2

No. 1 doubles — Zach Hammon/Lakin Smith (Minford) def. Wes Robinson/Cam Tieman (West) 6-0, 6-0

No. 2 doubles — Josh Wyehle/Josh Muck (Minford) def. Joel Durant/Chris Dials (West) 6-1, 6-1

Saturday

SOFTBALL

Portsmouth 8, Notre Dame 2 (F/6)

Despite a loss to the Clay Panthers in the nightcapper at Rock Hill, Portsmouth was able to claim an 8-2 victory over Notre Dame in six innings on Saturday afternoon.

Behind excellent plate discipline, Portsmouth was able to score five of its eight runs in the third inning of play as the Lady Trojans drew four of their six free passes in the aforementioned frame alone. Seniors Baleigh Bradley, Andi Queen, Semajah Parker, Bailey Horsley, and Eliza Gullett all scored in the inning, with Parker and Horsley notching a base knock apiece as Portsmouth batted around in the inning.

Parker led the way by going 2-for-4 in the inning with a double and a run scored. Horsley went 1-for-2 on the day with a run scored, and Bradley went 1-for-3 with a stolen base with three runs scored for Portsmouth.

Friday

TENNIS

Portsmouth 4, Hillsboro 1

The Portsmouth Trojans’ tennis program notched a season-opening 4-1 victory over the Hillsboro Magenta on Friday evening in Portsmouth to kick off its 2017 campaign on the right foot.

Luke Purdy, Logan Carter, and the doubles pairings of Dillan Shugert and Jacob Fraley, along with Alison Douthat and Ethan Haas, all picked up victories on the evening for Portsmouth. Purdy defeated Hillsboro’s Daniel Jacky by six-love counts in the No. 1 singles matchup, while Carter, the Shugert/Fraley pairing, and the Douthat/Haas pairings all took home at least one set in the Trojans’ victory. All of Portsmouth’s wins came in straight sets.

Portsmouth’s next matchup will be against Clay, whom they will host on Wednesday, April 5 at 5 p.m.

No. 1 singles — Luke Purdy (Portsmouth) def. Daniel Jacky (Hillsboro) 6-0, 6-0

No. 2 singles — Logan Carter (Portsmouth) def. Spencer Brown (Hillsboro) 6-0, 6-2

No. 3 singles — Andrew Gunderman (Hillsboro) def. Tayte Pridemore (Portsmouth) 6-3, 6-2

No. 1 doubles — Dillan Shugert/Jacob Fraley (Portsmouth) def. Austin Bumgarner/Austin Powel (Hillsboro) 6-1, 6-0

No. 2 doubles — Allison Douthat and Ethan Haas (Portsmouth) def. Gabe Gilliand and Tyler Snapp (Hillsboro) 6-0, 6-1

Staff Report