ROSEMOUNT — Simply put, South Webster —and some other Ohio River region high school baseball teams —wasn’t going to be denied.
Intent, even hell bent, on playing baseball this summer following the cancellation of the Ohio High School Athletic Association spring season, the Jeeps — along with Clay, Minford and Valley from Scioto County — joined Coal Grove from Ohio and Raceland and Greenup County from Kentucky in forming an independent league.
On Monday, that season’s first pitch took place — as the visiting Jeeps captured an 8-5 victory at Clay.
“We wanted to form a league with some schools. We’re ecstatic about getting to salvage our season through this summer. Everyone is on board and been committed throughout,” said South Webster coach Ryan McClintic. “We’ve got a great group of ballplayers and kids.”
So far, the first three weeks of the Jeeps’ schedule is set — started on Monday and running through at least the opening weekend of July.
McClintic said some of the teams are desiring for a 20-game schedule — to run through at least the opening weekend in August along with a possible eight-team tournament to conclude.
But that’s down the road, as players are overjoyed just to be back on the baseball field for now.
Despite Clay outhitting the Jeeps 7-5, South Webster went ahead 6-4 thanks to a three-run fourth inning.
It then tacked on a run in the fifth, and exchanged points with the Panthers in the sixth and seventh innings towards the 8-5 final.
The Panthers pushed in front 4-3 with a run in the third, as both squads scored three markers apiece in the opening inning.
Aidan Andrews, pitching three innings of relief, recorded the pitching win — with one earned run allowed despite giving up three hits, two walks and hitting two Panthers.
Brice Robnett gained the save, escaping the seventh stanza with two strikeouts after walking one and hitting two.
Cam Carpenter started and worked the first 2 2/3 innings for the Jeeps, as Clay’s Caleb McNutt suffered the pitching loss.
Jaren Lower, Brice Robnett, Riley Cook, Caleb Cunningham and Myles Beasley bagged the five hits for South Webster, with Robnett scoring twice and Cunningham collecting two runs batted in.
Andrews, Beasley, Carpenter and Braden Martin managed RBIs apiece for the Jeeps.
Jaden Jessee paced Clay at the plate with a 2-for-3 day, including a double.
Five other Panthers — Drew Zuefle, Clay Cottle, Shaden Malone, Mitchell King and Evan Woods — posted one hit apiece.
Both clubs committed two errors.
South Webster was scheduled to host Valley on Tuesday evening, and returns home on Wednesday with a non-league tilt against the Portsmouth Post 23 Senior team.
First pitch for Post 23 and the Jeeps is set for 5:30 p.m.
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