In any matchup that occurs in conference play, all one hopes to see is a well-played affair.
On Wednesday evening, there were several of those contests around the area, including the efforts that Notre Dame and Clay put together in an SOC I conference affair between the two, who, along with Green, are considered to be the favorites inside the conference’s lines.
Behind an excellent pitching effort, Notre Dame was able to take the hard-fought affair home, but the Titans and Panthers weren’t alone in their own standout efforts. Check out this week’s version of the Daily Times’ roundup to see the pair, along with the efforts of the Wheelersburg tennis unit and the West baseball and softball squads, with the West baseball squad receiving a no-hitter from Mardy Knittel!
Notre Dame 6, Clay 1
Behind a complete-game, 12-strikeout effort from CJ Corns, along with three hits and two RBI from Tyler Speas, the Notre Dame Titans scored a 6-1 victory over the Clay Panthers in the long-awaited affair between the two ballclubs.
Corns, who also went 1-for-4 with an RBI double on the day, fanned all but one Clay batter and allowed just four hits in the 6-1 win while needing only 104 pitches to go the distance in the victory. The junior threw 64 pitches for strikes on the evening en route to a fantastic performance.
“CJ came out and threw the ball well for us,” Notre Dame head coach Drew Mader said. “He was really in control of all of his pitches and our defense played solid behind him, which boosted his confidence. He made our lives easy as coaches because we could sit back and trust him to throw strikes.”
Speas, who notched his aforementioned two RBI in the contest, did so on a pair of base knocks that helped put Notre Dame back in front. Drew Cassidy also collected a pair of base knocks, and drove in an RBI while also scoring a run of his own to add to the excellent efforts.
In addition to Cassidy, Corns, and Speas, Sam Kayser, Chase Rodriguez, Truman Hash, Tyler Shaw, Grant Sparks, and Trevon Turner all recorded at least one base hit for the Titans, with Sparks adding a double and two runs scored and Rodriguez drawing a pair of walks on the day. Both players notched an RBI to close out their efforts. Hash and Shaw each scored a run to close out the Notre Dame offensive output.
“We took our time and were disciplined at the plate,” Mader said. “We hit our pitches and tried to apply pressure on the bases. Whenever we have the opportunity to take a base, we push our players to make good reads and decisions. We constantly remind the players that handling pressure is key, and that the best way to handle it is to stay within yourself.”
While Clay took the loss, Brody Riffe and Reece Whitley did an impressive job in relief for the Panthers. Riffe pitched three innings of two-hit baseball, while Whitley allowed just one hit over the remaining inning and one-third of play. Dakota Dodds, who started the game, didn’t allow an earned run but was forced to exit after an inning and two-thirds of action due to the high pitch count (48 pitches) and the second-inning damage.
“It was a tough loss tonight,” Clay head coach Marc Cottle said. “However, anytime CJ Corns is on the mound, Notre Dame will be hard to beat. He is one of the best pitchers in our area.”
Clay notched four hits during the affair, with McGwire Garrison (who led the team with two), Whitley, and Bradley McCleese all notching hits. Garrison’s RBI base knock in the fourth inning scored Cole Gilliland and was the Panthers’ only run of the contest.
Contests at Coal Grove (Notre Dame) and Eastern (Clay) were rained out, so both units will have to wait until Friday to take the diamond. Clay will play host to Green, while Notre Dame will host Western in a pair of SOC I bouts.
West 4, Oak Hill 1
After falling to Oak Hill by a 10-2 tally on Tuesday evening, West avenged a home loss to the Oaks by grabbing a 4-1 victory over its fellow SOC II conference foe on Wednesday evening in Oak Hill behind a complete game no-hitter from Mardy Knittel.
Knittel, who struck out four batters in the complete game performance, recorded a staggering 0.29 WHIP during the contest. His no-hitter came a day after the Senators allowed 10 hits and 10 runs in a 10-2 loss to the Oaks, marking a nice bounceback performance for the entire team. The Oaks’ only run on Wednesday came on a walk and an error in the field in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Garrett Hurd’s efforts at the plate proved to be paramount to West’s success on the evening, as the gritty hand recorded three hits and plated three of West’s four runs as a result. Dylan Bradford, who recorded an RBI on his lone hit of the contest, and Cade Powell also dented the hitting end of the scoreboard for West.
The Senators will play at Minford on Friday, where they will go up against the Falcons in another SOC II battle. Oddly enough, Minford also had a pitcher that threw a no-hitter on Wednesday in Jacob McCaleb.
Oak Hill 11, West 5
The West Lady Senators, however, weren’t able to find the same kind of traction that the baseball program found, as Oak Hill defeated West, 11-5, in an SOC II affair in Oak Hill.
Makayla White led West by going 2-for-4 on the evening with an RBI and two runs scored. The junior brought home West’s first run of the evening with her single. Terra Butcher, who followed White in the cleanup hole, went 1-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Her home run brought White in and allowed the Lady Senators to take a 3-0 lead at the end of the first half-inning, which would be West’s only lead during the entire affair.
Taylor Coleman’s 2-for-3 afternoon, Kayleigh Coleman’s 1-for-3, run scoring efforts, and Sammy Tatman’s 1-for-1, two-walk efforts rounded out the West efforts for the evening.
West (4-4) was scheduled to play at Notre Dame on Thursday and will play at Minford on Friday.
Wheelersburg 3, Gallia Academy 2
In what was a near carbon-copy from Tuesday’s match against Valley, the Wheelersburg Pirates edged Gallia Academy, 3-2, by taking home both doubles affairs on the evening, with Drew Jackson obtaining a win at the No. 1 singles slot to help bring the nonconference match home for Wheelersburg.
Jackson took home a win, 6-3, 6-4, over Gallia Academy’s No. 1 singles hand in Miguel Velasco, while the doubles pairings of Ben Allen and Nic Jones, along with Carson McCorkle and Seth Pertuset, took home victories over Gallia Academy’s doubles pairings in Olivia Meadows and Kirsten Hesson and MiKayla Edelmann and Katie Carpenter by 6-1, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-4 counts, respectively.
No. 1 singles — Drew Jackson (Wheelersburg) def. Miguel Velasco (Gallia Academy) 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 singles — Pierce Wilcoxson (Gallia Academy) def. Hunter Pistole (Wheelersburg) 6-0, 6-0
No. 3 singles — Miles Cornwell (Gallia Academy) def. Mason Nolan (Wheelersburg) 6-0, 6-0
No. 1 doubles — Ben Allen/Nic Jones (Wheelersburg) def. Olivia Meadows/Kirsten Hesson (Gallia Academy) 6-1, 6-1
No. 2 doubles — Carson McCorkle/Seth Pertuset (Wheelersburg) def. MiKayla Edelmann/Katie Carpenter (Gallia Academy) 6-2, 6-4
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7