The final regular season week for baseball and softball gives us plenty
of championship teams to talk about this week. In our top team section
we honor this year’s Muskingum Valley champion, but in News, Notes,
& Nuggets we highlight more than 10 other conference winners from
the diamond. We also have a few track champions to discuss…
The final regular season week for baseball and softball gives us plenty of championship teams to talk about this week. In our top team section we honor this year’s Muskingum Valley champion, but in News, Notes, & Nuggets we highlight more than 10 other conference winners from the diamond. We also have a few track champions to discuss; however, most conferences will decide their top runners, jumpers, and throwers later this week.
As for our top individual, we head to the Southern Ohio Conference to honor a Falcon that has been a star on the football field, the basketball court, and on the baseball diamond for four years, and he has now decided what sport and what Division I college he will continue his talents with next season.
Finally, our On Tap section not only announces a few key track dates, but it also reminds fans that this week starts the tournament runs for every baseball and softball team across the Buckeye State. This week’s Huddle recap gives fans a few teams and match-ups to pay close attention to in sectional play.
So here we go! We will start in the Muskingum Valley League where a big fifth inning gave this week’s top team the MVL title all for themselves.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Tri Valley Baseball: The Tri Valley baseball squad scored four times in the fifth inning to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 advantage in this week’s Muskingum Valley League clinching win. The rally was highlighted by run-scoring singles from Nathan Strock and Brock Welker as well as an RBI two-bagger from Jason Mahon. Tri Valley would enjoy another big inning in the seventh to secure the 11-4 victory. The Scotties are now 21-2 overall and their championship record in the MVL is 15-1.
On the mound Alex Lake and Strock combined to contain the Maysville offense, and offensively, Wade Reed was on base five times in as many at-bats while collecting two hits, scoring three runs, and recording a total of five stolen bases.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Aaron Oesch, Minford High School: One of the elite southeast, three-sport athletes signed this week to become a Bearcat next year at the University of Cincinnati. Aaron Oesch will take his catching talents and join a good Cincinnati baseball program.
Oesch has helped Minford to a pair of 20-win seasons including a district title in his time at Minford. Oesch and his Falcons are currently preparing for this year’s postseason which gets started this week.
Oesch has also starred on the football field and the basketball court for the Falcons. He is also a big piece of the loaded American Legion Post 23 baseball squad – a place the UC scouts first noticed Oesch.
NEWS, NOTES, & NUGGETS
Extra Innings for the Title: The Day of Champions had Gallia Academy visiting Warren to decide this year’s champion, and after seven innings the two teams needed more softball to crown a champion. With Gallia Academy down to their last at-bat, Alli Saunders produced an RBI single to tie the game. Gallia then broke the tie in the eighth inning, and it did so with two outs. Three straight hits were capped off by a two-run single from Morgan Leslie to give Gallia Academy the 3-1 advantage. This turned the game back over to pitcher Amy Noe, and the senior responded to finish the game. All totaled, Noe struck out eight and did not walk a batter, as her eight inning effort helped her record her 50th career win at the varsity level.
In baseball, it was Warren defeating Gallia Academy for the SEOAL title.
Mustangs Complete Mission: The Adena Warriors entered the week eyeing a Scioto Valley Conference championship; however, Zach Wolfe and the Westfall Mustangs had other ideas. Wolfe tossed a complete game to beat Adena 8-3 to clinch at least a share. Two nights later, Adena did stay in the hunt with a 17-7 win over Zane Trace, but Westfall left little doubt in its quest for an outright title as the Mustangs exploded for 20 runs in the second inning of a 28-1 win over Huntington (a team that was responsible for one of Westfall’s three league losses). Westfall recorded 29 hits as they complete the SVC at 11-3 for the outright title.
Two for the Tanks: The Unioto track teams on both the boys and the girls’ side proved to be the best in Ross County this week as the Sherman Tanks took both team titles. On the boys’ side, Unioto nearly doubled the field as the Shermans recorded seven victories. Paint Valley’s Tim Morrell took medalist honors.
On the girls’ side, Zane Trace’s Taylor Hatfield turned in her normal dominate performance to earn medalist honors, but Unioto’s team proved to be 31 points better than Hatfield’s Zane Trace team. Unioto took first-place in five events, but its overall balance in every event was simply more than the field could keep pace with throughout the evening.
‘Burg Baseball: The quest for a clinching sixth straight SOC II crown didn’t start as planned Saturday for the Wheelersburg Pirates. The visiting Jeeps of South Webster scored four times in the fourth inning before the Pirates started on the comeback trail. As always, Wheelersburg star Andrew Elliott was in the middle of it all. After the orange and black scored two in the fourth and two more in the sixth, Elliott pitched a perfect top-half of the seventh inning to set the stage for the walk-off win. Elliott started the home-half of the seventh by reaching via the base on balls. He then scored on a game-winning double from Nick Kemper. The ‘Burg will attempt to win the title outright on Wednesday with a win over Northwest.
John Glenn Softball: For the sixth time in six years, the John Glenn Lady Muskies are the champions of the Muskingum Valley League. The most recent title came as a result of a 2-1 win Friday night over Philo – a win that had to be earned in extra innings.
Philo (18-5, 13-3), who defeated John Glenn earlier this year 1-0, was looking to pull out another one-run victory, but an eighth-inning run gave John Glenn the game and the outright title. Erin Shade, who was running for Syd Brown who singled for the third time in the game to get things going in the eighth, scored the winning run when Rachel Townsend singled to left. It was Townsend who also starred on the mound for the Lady Muskies. Townsend recorded six strikeouts as she lifted her team to a 22-3 overall finish including a 14-2 championship record in the MVL.
No Aluminum Allowed: In one of the great springtime events for southeast baseball, the Portsmouth Trojans posted a pair of wins to capture this year’s tournament title. The event, The Rocky Nelson Wood Bat Classic, was held at Portsmouth West for the 13th straight year this past weekend. In the opener, Portsmouth defeated West Union 2-1 and then completed the day with an 8-5 win over West. West then defeated West Union 8-2 in the final game of the day.
For Portsmouth in its pair of wins, the Game 1 star was pitcher Ryan Monroe who went earned the win. In Game 2, it was the offense of Josh Myers that led the way. Myers highlighted a key fourth-inning rally with a two-run homer.
Championship Run: Athens head baseball coach Fred Gibson recorded career win number 300 this week – a week that also saw his Bulldogs complete the Ohio Division championship in the Tri Valley Conference.
In the Hocking Division, Reedsville Eastern clinched a share of the title Friday night with a 12-6 win over Racine Southern. The Eagles will battle Trimble Monday night in need of a win for the outright title. An Eastern loss would force them to share the title with Federal Hocking.
Similar Standings in Softball: Just like the baseball side, Athens is the champion in the Ohio Division and Eastern is the champ in the Hocking Division. The Ohio Division seemed to be more of a case of when not if; however, the Hocking Division was still up for grabs throughout this past week. Friday night was the final piece to the championship puzzle for Kasey Turley and her Eastern Lady Eagles. Turley pitched a complete game, striking out nine and walking one to lead Eastern to a 4-2 win over Racine Southern to earn the outright TVC title.
Chapman Pitches Chesapeake to Championship: The outstanding career of pitcher Allison Chapman had another chapter written Friday night as she pitched her Lady Panthers to an Ohio Valley Conference championship with a win over River Valley. On the boys’ side of the OVC, Fairland captured the conference title.
OVAC TRACK: In the crowded OVAC, all of this year’s top track squads were sorted out this past week. The overall team championships went to St. Clairsville on the girls’ side and the Steubenville Catholic boys. As for the class breakdowns, the champions and runner-ups are as follows:
1-A = St. John Central (Beallsville was runner-up)
2-A = Steubenville Catholic (Buckeye Trail was runner-up)
3-A = St. Clairsville (Meadowbrook was runner-up)
4-A = Wheeling Park (John Marshall was runner-up
1-A = St. John Central (Bishop Donahue was runner-up)
2-A = Steubenville Catholic (Linsly was runner-up)
3-A = Magnolia (Union Local was runner-up)
4-A = Wheeling Park (Steubenville was runner-up)
A Brand New Season: It was supposed to be different for top-seeded St. Clairsville, an OVAC championship squad that owned a 22-3 record, but West Muskingum shocked St. Clairsville 5-2 to bring their season to an early end.
Another shocker came from Martins Ferry. The Purple Riders, who had lost twice in the regular season to Barnesville, fought back to hand the Shamrocks an 8-5 defeat in the Division III Sectional this past Saturday.
Unioto vs. Waverly, Sectional Baseball, Monday, May 10th, Unioto High School,
5 p.m. A great four-five match-up in the Division II Sectionals. The winner will travel to top-seeded Warren Thursday assuming Warren is able to avoid the upset minded Jackson Ironmen on Monday night.
Martins Ferry vs. West Muskingum, Baseball, Wednesday, May 12th, Don Coss Field, 5 p.m. As described above, these are two teams that many did not expect to be here, but the pair will now battle for a chance to head to the district tournament.
Scioto Valley Conference Track Meet, Friday, May 14th, Southeastern High School, 4:30 p.m. Adena, Huntington, Paint Valley, Piketon, Southeastern, Unioto, Westfall, and Zane Trace all get together at Southeastern to figure out this year’s best SVC track squad. The prelims take place Tuesday with the elite returning Friday to compete for the individual titles.
Tri Valley Conference Track Meet, Friday, May 14th, Vinton County High School, 4:30 p.m. Just like the SVC, the TVC will crown champions Friday night. The prelims will take place Wednesday night.
Symmes Valley vs. Miller/Federal Hocking, Softball Sectional, Saturday, May 15th, Symmes Valley High School, 1 p.m. One of the best chances for the southeast to send a team deep into May could possibly come in Division IV with top-seeded Symmes Valley. Symmes Valley’s first step will be in Saturday’s Sectional championship against the winner of Wednesday’s Federal Hocking and Miller game.