Baseball tourney preview: Second edition


PDT Staff Report



Valley coach Nolan Crabtree discusses the Indians gameplan in a game against Minford earlier this season.

Valley coach Nolan Crabtree discusses the Indians gameplan in a game against Minford earlier this season.


File Photo

West at Adena

When West travels to Adena Wednesday evening, the Senators will face a team that’s taken on familiar foes Minford and Wheelersburg in the past couple of weeks.

Back on April 27, the Warriors were swept by Minford in a doubleheader by counts of 10-1 and 5-1. But on May 9, those same Warriors beat Wheelersburg by a 3-2 final. That win over the Pirates came in the midst of a seven-game winning streak, which Adena is still riding.

In fact, the Warriors’ last loss indeed came at the hands of Minford.

So, as you can infer, West will be up against a team that’s as hot as any with momentum by their side. The Senators will probably also see either Ethan Kunkel or Jarrett Garrison on the hill, the Warriors’ No. 1 and No. 2 pitching options.

West’s offense has been Jekyll and Hyde this season. The Senators will need to have that after a lengthy trip to Frankfort. The Warriors can knock the ball around as well so West’s defense must tighten up. Either way, if West plays to its potential, this 6-7 seed matchup should live up to its billing.

Northwest at Lynchburg-Clay

Don’t look now but Northwest has won three of its last five games, coming against Notre Dame, Eastern and Western. Those three victories are of four total this season after the Mohawks started the year 1-21.

While the opponents they’ve beaten don’t have great records themselves, it is a dose of confidence heading into Wednesday’s matchup in Lynchburg. The Mohawks will need all of that confidence, and then some, if they want to knock off the No. 3 seeded Mustangs.

At the top of the lineup, Northwest’s Nathan Rivers and Kaleb Seals have done a good job of setting the tone. But it’s not at the plate where the Mohawks have had problems. Take Monday’s 16-2 loss to Piketon for example, where Northwest committed five errors.

In their last six games alone, the Mohawks’ defense has been charged with 29 errors. That’s absurd and it will have to stop immediately if Northwest wants a chance at competing for a sectional championship.

Valley at West Union

If Valley plays to its full potential, the Indians should be playing for a chance to get back to VA Memorial Stadium next week in the district tournament. With No. 2 seeded Westfall waiting on this game’s winner in a sectional title, Valley has the upper hand.

The Indians do come in as a No. 10 seed, compared to West Union’s No. 7 showing. But when you look at the competition Valley has scheduled and face this spring, seeds go out the window.

Jared Morrow, Tanner Cunningham, Jesse Jones and Breckon Williams lead a lineup that’s certainly capable of putting up runs. And, when Cunningham’s pitching, the Indians have the potential to beat anyone … take last Friday for instance when they beat Clay by a 3-1 final.

While the Indians aren’t “favored,” this is a game they can win. Pitch strikes, play solid defense and put the ball in play. That’s the name of the game for Valley.

Portsmouth at Paint Valley

There’s times where Portsmouth has played well and there’s times where Portsmouth hasn’t. When they travel to Bainbridge Wednesday evening, the Trojans had better hope they pick a time to play well.

The Bearcats’ offense, led by Macky McDonald and Bryce Newland, is dangerous. And, if Portsmouth kicks the ball around in the field, it will certainly spell trouble in the final line. The Bearcats will take advantage of every opportunity they get … it’s a group that’s put up a double-digit run total on 10 occurrences.

Portsmouth will most likely face Paint Valley’s Lane Mettler or Brock Blanton on the hill, meaning they’ll have to be aggressive at the plate as both hurlers throw a high amount of strikes.

There’s a reason this is a No. 4 versus a No. 13 on paper. Stranger things have happened but Portsmouth certainly has its hands full after a long trip down US-50.

Valley coach Nolan Crabtree discusses the Indians gameplan in a game against Minford earlier this season.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2019/05/web1_IMG_4507.jpgValley coach Nolan Crabtree discusses the Indians gameplan in a game against Minford earlier this season. File Photo

PDT Staff Report

© 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

© 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved