Portsmouth 6, Minford 5 (F/10)
In a thrilling affair that took extra frames to decide a winner, the Portsmouth Trojans were able to finish their regular season on a high note by using a walkoff base knock from Reese Johnson en route to taking home a thrilling 6-5 victory over the Minford Falcons in a 10-inning affair that was played at Portsmouth on Thursday evening.
Johnson, who plated Ryan Williams on his walkoff hit to left field, combined with Williams to go 5-for-8 with a walk, a hit by pitch, a triple, two doubles, three RBI, and two runs scored on the evening. Williams went 3-for-4 with a triple, a double, a walk, two RBI, and a run scored, while Johnson went 2-for-4 with the hit by pitch, a double, and a RBI on the night.
The pair also combined to throw nine and a third innings of standout baseball, as Williams struck out four, only walked one for a 4-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio, and only allowed two earned runs to come across, while Johnson, who picked up the win on the mound, struck out seven batters in just four innings of work.
Leadoff hitter Vincent Schwamberger and nine-hole hitter Jack Workman each went 2-for-4, with both players scoring a run, to help Portsmouth turn the lineup over effectively, while Ty Oliver went 1-for-4 with a run scored to aid the Trojans from the two-hole. Mikey Potts and Ryan Sutherland combined for three sacrifices on the evening to help move over runners, with Potts’ final sacrifice in the 10th setting up Johnson’s walkoff hit.
Despite the loss, Darius Jordan, along with Ethan Louder, put up excellent performances for Minford. Jordan went 3-for-5 with a sacrifice, two stolen bases, and a run scored from the two-hole, while Louder went 2-for-5 with a double from the seven-hole en route to accumulating a 4-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio for the Falcons.
Luke Lindamood and Jacob McCaleb joined Jordan and Louder in the multi-hit club as Lindamood went 2-for-5 with a double, while McCaleb added a stolen base and a run scored in his 2-for-6 performance.
Nathan McCormick, Matthew Gullett, Ian Tolle, and Reid Shultz all added base hits for the Falcons, with each player going 1-for-5 on the day. Gullett’s triple, Shultz’s double, and McCormick’s walk and two runs scored led the group. Like Johnson, Eric Cook put together an excellent relief performance by giving up just three hits in four and a third innings of work and striking out seven while walking only one for a 7-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio but took the loss on Johnson’s walkoff hit to left.
Both teams concluded regular season play on Thursday and will spend the next week preparing for Division III sectional play, as Portsmouth will face West in a highly-anticipated sectional semifinal matchup on Wednesday evening while Minford will host the winner of Sardinia Eastern and Bainbridge Paint Valley at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 13.
West 8, Ironton 7
While Portsmouth and Minford battled to extra innings in Portsmouth, the West Lady Senators duked it out with the Ironton Lady Tigers in a barnburning affair held in West Portsmouth, with West taking down Ironton, 8-7, on Thursday evening in a nonconference battle.
Makayla White, who has always brought an excellent bat to the table for the Lady Senators, was the star of the thrilling showdown on Friday evening as White went 3-for-4 with a triple, a double, two RBI and a run scored. Terra Butcher followed suit in the cleanup spot by going 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and Haleigh Throckmorton continued the middle of the lineup’s success in the five-hole by going 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
Briana Bricker, who collected two RBI on her 2-for-3 day at the plate from the eight-hole, was also vital for West in its victory. Taylor Coleman added a hit, a RBI, and a run scored in three trips to the plate to cap off the winning effort for the Lady Senators.
West closed out the regular season with a 13-10 mark. The Lady Senators will play at Coal Grove in the sectional finals next Friday.
Notre Dame 12, Western 1 (F/5)
Behind a complete game two-hitter in the circle, as well as a 4-for-4 day at the plate for Maggie Whitman, the Notre Dame Lady Titans faced little trouble in taking down the Western Lady Indians, 12-1, in a five-inning mercy rule in what was Notre Dame’s final bout of the regular season on Thursday evening.
Whitman, who improved to 9-4 overall on the season en route to taking the victory inside the circle, struck out six Western batters in her complete game two-hitter. The junior didn’t allow any extra base hits in the contest.
At the plate, the elder Whitman also was a stronghold for Notre Dame from her leadoff position, as the experienced hand went 4-for-4 at the plate with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored to lead the Lady Titans. Fellow teammates Makayla Hadsell and Catelynn Ball ensured that Notre Dame would have success up and down the lineup, as Hadsell went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored from the cleanup position, while Ball went 2-for-3 with a double, three RBI and run scored from the eight-spot. Nine-hole hitter Baylee Webb went 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored to cap off the multi-hit efforts for Notre Dame on the evening.
Molly Hoover, Cassie Schaefer, Hagen Schaefer, Sydney Whitman, and Alex Glockner all collected one hit apiece for Notre Dame, with Glocker adding two runs and Hoover, along with Cassie Schaefer, adding one run apiece to close out the Lady Titans’ efforts.
Notre Dame finished the regular season with a 16-6 mark thanks to a major improvement over the second half of the season, one that saw the Lady Titans take home 10 out of their last 11 affairs. Notre Dame will host Ironton St. Joseph in a Division IV Sectional Semifinal contest on Monday evening.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7