MINFORD – The Minford Falcons scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and held Adena scoreless in the top of the fifth to win the Division III District semi-finals 11-1 at Minford High School in boys baseball tournament play on Monday.
The win gave Minford (22-2) its 20th straight victory of the season.
Falcon Head Coach Anthony Knittel sent senior Matthew Risner home from third base while Cole Borland was at bat to enforce the 10-run mercy rule. The move rattled Adena relief pitcher Dillon McDonald who balked to award the run to Minford.
“We knew we had to get one more run because we knew Levi (Coriell) could get us three more outs and we could get out of here with a win,” Knittel said. “Matthew has the speed to do it and we wanted that run in a bad way.”
Coriell, who went 1-for-3 with 2 RBI at the plate, picked up the win for Minford while Jarrett Garrison was tagged with the loss for Adena.
Minford, who has won three consecutive Southern Ohio Conference Div. II championships, jumped out in the bottom of the first inning with two runs on three hits.
Adam Crank dropped a single and went to third after Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis smacked a double. Aodhan Queen knocked in Crank and Vogelsong-Lewis scored off a single from Risner.
Vogelsong-Lewis, who has committed to play at Marshall University, was 2-for-2 with a double, a triple and 2-RBIs.
“We focused on hitting the ball hard tonight,” he said. “We didn’t want to hit pop ups. We knew we had to hit the first fast ball we saw. This is probably the best game we played in a while.”
The Falcons added four more runs on four hits in the bottom the third inning.
Grant Wheeler singled and Crank was hit by a pitch to set the stage for Vogelsong-Lewis’ triple.
“I was just looking to hit something hard on the ground to score a run and it turned out to be a hard liner down the line,” he said. “I’m just blessed to play this game today.”
Risner knocked in his fellow senior Vogelsong-Lewis on a double and later scored when Branson Alley smacked a double.
“We came out and gave it our all tonight,” Risner said. “We all the ball. We came in yesterday morning at 7:30 and got some swings in and that helped today. We had zero strike outs as a team. Our defense was excellent tonight against a good team and our offense produced.”
Minford then put up five more runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach from Adena (14-13).
Mason Book, Wheeler, Vogelsong-Lewis, Queen and Risner all crossed the plate in the inning for Minford to secure the win and advance on Wednesday.
“We knew who ever had the most hits at the end would win this game,” Knittel said. “You had two good offensive teams tonight. We knew we had to be aggressive early. All of our hard-hit balls came early in the count and didn’t give them a chance to get deep in the count. Our bats were alive today.”
Adena: 0-0-1-0-6 1-6-1
Minford: 2-0-4-5-x 11-11-1
Adena: Throckmorton (0-3) Garrison (1-3) McDonald (2-3, RBI) Glandon (0-3) Dratwa (1-2) Williams (0-2) Dyer (0-2) Rawlings (1-2) Vickers (1-1, R)
Minford: Wheeler (2-3, 2R) Crank (1-2, 2R) Vogelsong-Lewis (2-2, 2B, 3B, 2RBI) Queen (1-3, 1R, 2 RBI) Risner (2-2, 2R, 3RBI) Coriell (1-3, 2RBI) Alley (1-3, 1RBI) Borland (0-3) Book (1-2, 1R)