More baseball for Minford: Falcons defeat Golden Rockets in district semifinal


Falcons defeat Golden Rockets in district semifinal

By Jacob Smith - [email protected]



Minford junior Aodhan Queen (34) makes a 5-3 putout during the Falcons’ 3-1 win over Wellston in a Division III, Chillicothe #2 district semifinal at VA Memorial Stadium.

Minford junior Aodhan Queen (34) makes a 5-3 putout during the Falcons’ 3-1 win over Wellston in a Division III, Chillicothe #2 district semifinal at VA Memorial Stadium.


Courtesy of Patrick Phillips, Glory Days Photography

Minford freshman catcher JD Matiz (12) catches a pop-up near home plate during the Falcons’ 3-1 win over Wellston in a Division III, Chillicothe #2 district semifinal.


Courtesy of Patrick Phillips, Glory Days Photography

Minford sophomore Mason Book (27) drove in the Falcons’ first run during Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Wellston in a Division III, Chillicothe #2 district semifinal.


Courtesy of Patrick Phillips, Glory Days Photography

Minford junior Cole Borland (11) delivers a pitch during the Falcons’ 3-1 win over Wellston at VA Memorial Stadium.


Courtesy of Patrick Phillips, Glory Days Photography

CHILLICOTHE — The weather blip that passed over VA Memorial Stadium Wednesday evening had little effect on the Minford Falcons.

After taking a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth in their win over Wellston in a Division III, Chillicothe #2 district semifinal, the contest was paused for nearly an hour due to the area’s weather conditions.

When play resumed, the Falcons tacked on another run in the fourth and Minford junior Cole Borland continued what he started — shutting down the Golden Rockets’ lineup in their 3-1 victory.

“Hats off to Wellston, they played a great game — that’s a great ball team. Great coached and I respect those guys,” Minford coach Anthony Knittel said, afterwards. “We competed — tonight we showed that we’re here. Regular season is the regular season and it’s a new season for us. It’s all about peaking at the right time and it feels like we’re doing that.”

The Falcons took an early 1-0 lead in their first trip to the plate when sophomore Mason Book delivered an RBI single, scoring junior Adam Crank from third base.

A Minford error in the top of the fourth allowed Wellston’s lone run to come home from third base — tying the game at 1-1.

Senior Branson Alley drove in Book with an RBI infield single in the the bottom of the fourth — just before play was stopped due to the delay.

Three-straight Minford batters reached following the delay, including sophomore Carson Cronin who drew a bases loaded walk to score Alley with two outs and give Minford a 3-1 lead.

After re-taking the mound, Borland faced two over the minimum in his final three innings on the hill.

For the game, Borland struck out nine Golden Rockets batters, allowed just four hits and no earned runs in the complete game victory.

“We put the ball in play, executed at the plate. It’s very hard to have a rain delay for almost an hour, be locked out, come back locked in when Cole took the mound. My hat goes off to Cole Borland,” Knittel said. “He’s feeling himself and throwing phenominal. Mentally tough — he came back out and turned it on when he had to.”

With the win, the Falcons are back in the district final stage and will be seeking the program’s fourth-straight district crown.

Minford began the program’s current streak of district championships with their 2018 team who eventually became Region 11 champions.

To again reach the Region 11 tournament, Minford will need to overtake Zane Trace — who defeated Rock Hill 10-4 in their own Chillicothe #2 district semifinal on Wednesday.

The Falcons and Pioneers have their own postseason history in recent years. In 2017, Zane Trace defeated Minford 5-3 in the Southeast 2 District final.

“Ron Allen’s going to have his kids ready to go. He’s been around a lot of games. Got to watch Zane Trace for the first time this year early — it’s a great team that’s well coached. We just have to come out and play our game. Do the things we do and execute with runners in scoring position, and the team with the least amount of mistakes will win the ball game.”

The Chillicothe #2 district final was originally set for Thursday but was pushed to Friday due to weather in the Chillicothe area.

First pitch between the Pioneers and Falcons is set for 4 p.m. with Minford junior Noah Martin looking to take the hill.

“Onto the next one, Noah Martin back on the mound on Friday,” Knittel said. “He’s been pitching well and throwing well.”

***

BOX SCORE

Wellston 0 0 0 1 0 0 — 1 4 1

Minford 1 0 0 2 0 0 X — 3 8 1

Wellston hitting

Jackson 1-3

Frisby 1-3

Wilbur 1-3

Fetherolf 1-2, R, BB

Minford hitting

Carson Cronin 2-2, RBI, BB

Adam Crank 0-3, R

Aodhan Queen 1-3

Mason Book 2-3, R, RBI

Jacob Lewis 1-2

Branson Alley 1-2, R, RBI

Cole Borland 1-2

Pitching

Martin (W) 6IP, 8H, 3ER, 1BB, 4K (L)

Cole Borland (M) 7IP, 4H, 0ER, 3BB, 9K (W)

Minford junior Aodhan Queen (34) makes a 5-3 putout during the Falcons’ 3-1 win over Wellston in a Division III, Chillicothe #2 district semifinal at VA Memorial Stadium.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_Aodhan-Queen-_-Minford-Wellston.jpgMinford junior Aodhan Queen (34) makes a 5-3 putout during the Falcons’ 3-1 win over Wellston in a Division III, Chillicothe #2 district semifinal at VA Memorial Stadium. Courtesy of Patrick Phillips, Glory Days Photography

Minford freshman catcher JD Matiz (12) catches a pop-up near home plate during the Falcons’ 3-1 win over Wellston in a Division III, Chillicothe #2 district semifinal.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_JD-Matiz-_-Minford-Wellston.jpgMinford freshman catcher JD Matiz (12) catches a pop-up near home plate during the Falcons’ 3-1 win over Wellston in a Division III, Chillicothe #2 district semifinal. Courtesy of Patrick Phillips, Glory Days Photography

Minford sophomore Mason Book (27) drove in the Falcons’ first run during Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Wellston in a Division III, Chillicothe #2 district semifinal.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_Mason-Book-_-Minford-Wellston.jpgMinford sophomore Mason Book (27) drove in the Falcons’ first run during Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Wellston in a Division III, Chillicothe #2 district semifinal. Courtesy of Patrick Phillips, Glory Days Photography

Minford junior Cole Borland (11) delivers a pitch during the Falcons’ 3-1 win over Wellston at VA Memorial Stadium.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_Cole-Borland-_-Minford.jpgMinford junior Cole Borland (11) delivers a pitch during the Falcons’ 3-1 win over Wellston at VA Memorial Stadium. Courtesy of Patrick Phillips, Glory Days Photography
Falcons defeat Golden Rockets in district semifinal

By Jacob Smith

[email protected]

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved