Four-straight for the Falcons: Minford rallies past Pioneers in district final


Minford rallies past Pioneers in district final

By Jacob Smith - [email protected]



Minford senior Levi Coriell (4) allowed one hit and no earned runs across three complete innings during the Falcons’ 5-3 win over Zane Trace in a Division III district final.

Minford senior Levi Coriell (4) allowed one hit and no earned runs across three complete innings during the Falcons’ 5-3 win over Zane Trace in a Division III district final.


Courtesy of Patrick Phillips, Glory Days Photography

Minford junior Noah Martin (24) delivered an RBI double to bring the Falcons within a run during their 5-3 win over Zane Trace in a Division III district championship.


Courtesy of Patrick Phillips, Glory Days Photography

The 2022 Minford Falcons won the program’s fourth-straight Division III district championship on Friday — defeating Zane Trace 5-3 at VA Memorial Stadium.


Jacob Smith | Daily Times

CHILLICOTHE — There’s just no quit in the Minford Falcons baseball team.

Trailing No. 1-seed Zane Trace 3-1 entering the top of the sixth in the Division III, Chillicothe #2 district final, the Falcons scored two runs in each of their final two trips to the plate for a come from behind 5-3 win over the Pioneers.

With the win, the Falcons (18-8) secured their fourth-straight Division III district championship and subsequent spot in next week’s Region 11 tournament.

“So proud of these kids. There was never a no we can’t, never negativity in the dugout,” Minford coach Anthony Knittel said, afterwards. “We knew we had two chances to come score runs or we were going home. It’s survive and advance right now.”

Trips to VA Memorial Stadium and district championships have become a standard for the Falcons’ program.

Even trailing the top seed in the Southeast District by two runs and having just six outs to make up their deficit, Minford rallied — holding the Pioneers off the scoreboard in the final three innings.

“We like to call this our second home — we play here a lot,” Knittel said. “We’ve been challenged, had big moments, and have had success here. We battled back today. You take it one game at a time and see where you end up — today we’re district champs.”

Sophomore Mason Book led the Falcons’ sixth off with a triple into the left center field gap — immediately giving Minford a runner in scoring position.

Junior Noah Martin drove in Book with an RBI double to bring the Falcons within a run at 3-2. Martin would later advance on a groundout by senior Jacob Lewis and would score the game-tying run via passed ball.

“Before that inning I told Mason to get it done, there’s no one better. Told Noah the same thing — ‘you’re about to have the biggest hit of your life’. These guys step up and embrace the challenge. Mason’s was a shot. Drove it hard and the kid’s a hustler.”

After a scoreless sixth by senior Levi Coriell on the mound, Minford again got their first two batters aboard in the seventh.

Freshman JD Matiz reached with a lead-off single and sophomore Carson Cronin drew a walk with no outs to give Minford two runners aboard.

With two outs in the inning, Mason Book put a ball in play that allowed the eventual go-ahead run in Cronin to score via a Zane Trace error — giving Minford a 4-3 lead. Pioneers pitcher Rece Allen balked with a runner at third base, scoring the Falcons’ fifth run of the game in junior Adam Crank and some needed insurance.

Crank entered in relief of Coriell in the seventh with two runners aboard and earned the save without allowing a Zane Trace run to cross home plate.

Coriell’s relief outing helped keep Minford in the game in a big way.

In his three complete innings, Coriell allowed just one hit, no earned runs, and struck out three on 62 pitches.

“Coming out of the bullpen in a district final, there’s a lot of pressure,” Coriell said. “You just have to come out and throw strikes. Look at the mitt and get in over the plate.”

“We’ve been playing without him (Coriell) all year due to injury and it was so good to have him back. He came out of the bullpen and pounded the zone, threw strikes,” Knittel said. “Couldn’t be more proud of him for that.”

The Falcons return to the Division III, Region 11 semifinals and will face Ohio Valley Conference champion Fairland on Thursday, June 2 right back at VA Memorial Stadium.

Fairland defeated Meigs 3-0 in the Chillicothe #1 district final earlier on Saturday.

“We’re going to play some tough teams. Play Fairland, a good team that’s very well coached,” Knittel said. “Have to come out and play our game and the team with the least amount of mistakes will win.”

First pitch between the Falcons and Dragons is set for 12 p.m.

***

BOX SCORE

Minford 0 0 0 1 0 2 2 — 5 10 2

Zane Trace 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 — 3 3 1

Minford hitting

JD Matiz 2-4,

Carson Cronin 3-3, BB, R

Adam Crank 1-3, BB, R

Mason Book 2-3, BB, 2R

Noah Martin 1-2, 2BB, RBI, R

Jacob Lewis 1-4,

Branson Alley 0-2, RBI

Zane Trace hitting

Rece Allen 0-3, BB

Landen Jarrell 1-4, R

Ben Nichols 1-2, 2BB, R

Trey Edler 0-2, RBI, BB

Austen Ison 1-3, RBI

Drew Lane 0-3, BB

Brooks Hodson 0-2, BB, R

Pitching

Trey Edler (ZT) 6IP, 10H, 3ER, 2K, 3BB (L)

Rece Allen (ZT) 1IP, 0H, 0ER, 2K, 0BB

Noah Martin (M) 3IP, 2H, 3ER, 2K, 7BB

Levi Coriell (M) 3IP, 1H, 0ER, 3K, 2BB (W)

Adam Crank (M) 1IP, 0H, 0ER, 0K, 0BB (S)

Minford senior Levi Coriell (4) allowed one hit and no earned runs across three complete innings during the Falcons’ 5-3 win over Zane Trace in a Division III district final.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_Levi-Coriell-_-Minford-ZT.jpgMinford senior Levi Coriell (4) allowed one hit and no earned runs across three complete innings during the Falcons’ 5-3 win over Zane Trace in a Division III district final. Courtesy of Patrick Phillips, Glory Days Photography

Minford junior Noah Martin (24) delivered an RBI double to bring the Falcons within a run during their 5-3 win over Zane Trace in a Division III district championship.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_Martin-_-Minford-ZT.jpgMinford junior Noah Martin (24) delivered an RBI double to bring the Falcons within a run during their 5-3 win over Zane Trace in a Division III district championship. Courtesy of Patrick Phillips, Glory Days Photography

The 2022 Minford Falcons won the program’s fourth-straight Division III district championship on Friday — defeating Zane Trace 5-3 at VA Memorial Stadium.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_Minford-district-champs.jpgThe 2022 Minford Falcons won the program’s fourth-straight Division III district championship on Friday — defeating Zane Trace 5-3 at VA Memorial Stadium. Jacob Smith | Daily Times
Minford rallies past Pioneers in district final

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