DIVISION IV, SOUTHEAST II SECTIONAL BASEBALL FINALS:
Notre Dame 10, Manchester 0 (F/5)
The Notre Dame Titans continued to impress with their solid play on the baseball diamond on Monday evening, as a complete-game two-hitter and a 2-for-3, two-RBI day from CJ Corns, along with a 3-for-3, three-RBI day from Tyler Speas and a 2-for-2 day from Grant Sparks, allowed Notre Dame to take home a resounding 10-0 victory over Manchester in five innings in a Division IV, Southeast II Sectional Final in Portsmouth on Wednesday evening.
For Drew Mader, the victory was a true glimpse of what his Notre Dame unit can be when it puts together a complete baseball contest.
“If we do the little things right, we believe that we can play with anybody that we have had on our schedule this year,” Mader said. “We’ve proven that time and time again. Coming in, Manchester was playing well. They’ve beat good teams, and they’ve lost to some good teams, just like us. We felt like we owed them one from 2014 when they came into our place and stole our thunder (in a Division IV, Southeast II Sectional Championship). (Wednesday evening) was the best that we’ve looked when you factor in the hitting one-through-nine, the fielding, and the pitching. It was a whole team effort and a great all-around baseball game played by us. Hopefully, we’re hitting on all cylinders right now going into the district tournament.”
Corns, who has been a standout on the hill throughout his Notre Dame career, fanned 10 batters and walked only two for a 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his complete game performance.
“CJ Corns did a magnificent job on the mound,” Mader said. “He may not have been as efficient as he would’ve liked to have been, but going into the game, we knew that he would throw strikes. He competes for us on the mound, and today was no different than what we’ve come to expect from him. CJ gets on the mound and puts his heart and soul into every single pitch. I just tell him, ‘You’ve got to make sure that you have faith in all of your guys that surround you. Pitches are going to be hit. You can’t strike out every single kid. Just throw strikes, and we’ll be right there behind you.’”
Speas, who notched two doubles, a walk, and two runs scored in his 3-for-3, two-RBI day at the dish, led the Notre Dame offensive attack from the cleanup position. Sparks added a walk and a RBI in his 2-for-2 day at the dish, while Tyler Shaw and Trevon Turner each went 2-for-3 while combining for a double, a RBI and three runs scored.
Hunter Berry, who went 1-for-3 with a run scored, Drew Cassidy, who drove in a pair of runs on two sacrifice flies, and Sam Kayser and Cameron Rodriguez, who combined to draw four walks and score four runs, rounded out a complete Notre Dame effort as the Titans scored two runs in the first frame and four runs apiece in the second and fifth frames.
“The kids answered the call today,” Mader said. “In the field, and at the plate, they answered every single situation that we put them in. We preached about putting pressure onto our opponents by running the bases well, and the guys did that. To start the game and finish the game off on a high note is a good sign for us and any team. You always want to be hitting on all cylinders when it comes down to tournament time.”
With Wednesday’s sectional final in the books, Notre Dame will head back to Chillicothe in what will be another trip to the famed VA Memorial Stadium for the Titans. They’ll play Racine Southern in the Division IV, Southeast II District Semifinals next Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“Going into Tuesday’s game, we know that Racine Southern is going to be a big matchup for us,” Mader said. “However, if we hit and field the ball as a team, then we can play with anybody that we’re faced with. It’s all about taking things one pitch at a time, one game at a time, and hopefully, one victory at a time. Hopefully, we show up ready to go. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Green 11, Ironton St. Joseph 1 (F/5)
While Notre Dame took care of business in mercy-rule fashion in Portsmouth, Green wasted no time doing the same on the eastern end of the county as the Bobcats scored 11 consecutive runs to blitz Ironton St. Joseph, 11-1, in five innings on Monday evening in Franklin Furnace.
Green was led by another fantastic performance by Tanner Kimbler, who improved to 8-1 on the year on the hill. The sophomore displayed excellent control as Kimbler struck out seven St. Joe batters, walked none, and needed just 59 pitches to throw a complete game five-hitter on the evening.
Kimbler also helped his own cause at the plate, where the sophomore went 4-for-4 with three runs batted in, including a huge two-RBI base knock with two outs that allowed Green to plate five runs in the third inning en route to a 5-1 lead.
Trevor Carver and Bryce Ponn each went 2-for-3 with two RBI, with Carver notching a pair of doubles, including a two-run double, in the six-run fifth, while Ponn collected his two-RBI on what ended up being the walkoff base knock.
With the victory, Green improved to 18-5 on the year and like Clay, Notre Dame, and South Webster before it, will advance to VA Memorial Stadium. There, a showdown with the Jeeps, which will occur on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the Southeast II District Semis at the VA, awaits.
DIVISION III, CHILLICOTHE III SECTIONAL SOFTBALL SEMIFINALS:
Valley 19, West Union 5 (F/5)
Resiliency pays off in huge dividends for those who choose to exercise it.
The Valley Lady Indians continued to show that resilience as Chris Spencer’s club put up a total of 19 runs — including 10 in the second inning alone — en route to a mercy-rule victory over the West Union Dragons on Wednesday evening in Lucasville.
As mentioned, Valley had no trouble putting together excellent performances throughout its lineup, as six of the Lady Indians’ nine hitters collected at least three hits or more on Wednesday evening.
Bailey Crabtree, who batted in the seven-hole, led Valley by going 4-for-4 on the day with three runs scored, while Margaret Caldwell, Marissa Markins, Madison Williams, Kennedy McGraw, and Kyleie Billiter all collected three hits on the evening. Caldwell went 3-for-4 with a double, Markins went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a sacrifice, and three runs scored, Williams went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, McGraw went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, and Billiter went 3-for-3 with a double and a walk to head the charge for Valley.
Maddi Kuhn and Destiny Gardner each collected two hits and a walk in their three official at-bats, with Kuhn scoring three times and Gardner scoring a run of her own. Mackenzie Spencer drew a pair of walks and scored a run to round out a strong offensive showing for the Lady Indians.
With the victory, Valley will play at Piketon on Friday evening in a Division III, Chillicothe III Sectional Final. The winner will face either Coal Grove or West on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at Unioto for what will be a Division III, Chillicothe III District Semifinal.
ADDITIONAL POSTSEASON SCORES:
DIVISION III, SOUTHEAST I SECTIONAL BASEBALL SEMIFINALS:
Seaman North Adams 5, Valley 4
DIVISION III, SOUTHEAST II SECTIONAL BASEBALL SEMIFINALS:
Chillicothe Zane Trace 8, Northwest 1
DIVISION III, CHILLICOTHE I SECTIONAL SOFTBALL SEMIFINALS:
South Point 2, Portsmouth 0
UPCOMING D-III SOFTBALL SCHEDULE:
DIVISION III, CHILLICOTHE I SECTIONAL SOFTBALL FINALS:
No. 1 Wheelersburg vs. No. 8 South Point, Friday, 5 p.m.
No. 6 Northwest at No. 3 Sardinia Eastern Brown, Friday, 5 p.m.
DIVISION III, CHILLICOTHE II SECTIONAL SOFTBALL FINALS:
No. 2 Minford vs. No. 7 Chesapeake, Friday, 5 p.m.
DIVISION III, CHILLICOTHE III SECTIONAL SOFTBALL FINALS:
No. 6 West at No. 3 Coal Grove, Friday, 5 p.m.
No. 7 Valley at No. 2 Piketon, Friday, 5 p.m.
UPCOMING D-III BASEBALL SCHEDULE:
DIVISION III, SOUTHEAST I SECTIONAL BASEBALL FINALS
No. 1 Wheelersburg vs. No. 8 Oak Hill, Saturday, 11 a.m.
No. 4 West vs. No. 5 North Adams, Saturday, 11 a.m.
DIVISION III, SOUTHEAST II SECTIONAL BASEBALL FINALS
No. 1 Minford vs. No. 9 Bainbridge Paint Valley, Saturday, 11 a.m.
The complete district schedule from Monday through Thursday — Division III and Division IV — will be posted in its entirety in Monday’s edition of the Daily Times’ roundup.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7