Division III District Finals
Minford vs. Adena
Minford advanced to Saturday’s Division III district final with their 12-2 win over Wellston while their opponent, the Adena Warriors, advanced to Saturday’s district final with an 11-0 win over Fairland.
Minford and Adena are no strangers to each other this season. In fact, the two will square off Saturday exactly four weeks after their first two encounters with each other, a doubleheader sweep by the Falcons in Muletown by scores of 3-2 and 10-1.
In their first matchup, a 3-2 decision in favor of the Falcons, Bailey Rowe allowed just one earned run to the Warriors. In game two, Adena committed eight errors while allowing just seven Minford hits, giving the Falcons a 10-1 win.
Minford is poised and composed, as well as battle tested. They’ll likely use Elijah Vogelsong on the mound after throwing senior ace Ethan Lauder Thursday vs. Wellston. While it’s fair to anticipate the Warriors will not commit eight errors in Saturday’s game, if the Falcons do the things that have led them to this point and hit consistently as they did Thursday, they’ll position themselves nicely for a second consecutive district title.
Wheelersburg vs. Westfall
In Saturday’s other Division III district final, the Wheelersburg Pirates, fresh off their district semifinal win over the SVC’s Paint Valley Friday, will take on the SVC regular season champions in the Westfall Mustangs.
While Friday’s district semifinal and Saturday’s final may be against different SVC opponents, expect the level of competition to be the same. In Paint Valley and Westfall’s two regular season matchups, the Mustangs provailed by just one run in both matchups, helping them to claim the SVC’s regular season crown.
But Wheelersburg is also a conference champion after they earned their share of the SOC II title when splitting wins with rival Minford, and the Pirates are also red hot at the plate. In their sectional final against Ironton and in their district semifinal game against Paint Valley, Wheelersburg put up run totals of 14 and 11 runs respectively.
The Pirates are likely to start either Jalen Miller or Cole Ratcliff on the mound after starting ace Trey Carter Friday against Paint Valley.
If the Pirates bats come alive as they have of late, and if Miller and Ratcliff are firing on all cylinders with a strong defensive performance behind them, top seeded Wheelersburg should have a good chance at Saturday’s district championship after falling just short of that goal a year ago.
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