Southeast Ohio Huddle: 21-run rally, sprint sweeps and spring sports league sweeps


Southeast Ohio Huddle

Through all the regular season meets including the invitational meets,
it always comes down to a few key runs for high school track stars. The
first of those key runs came for many of them this week as leagues
hosted their league championship meets. This week’s News, Notes, &
Nuggets honor boys and girls from over ten conferences who earned the
title of champions.

Through all the regular season meets including the invitational meets, it always comes down to a few key runs for high school track stars. The first of those key runs came for many of them this week as leagues hosted their league championship meets. This week’s News, Notes, & Nuggets honor boys and girls from over ten conferences who earned the title of champions.

Speaking of champions, it is postseason time on the diamond and baseball and softball played through the sectional rounds and now has the district tournament brackets set. We will not only honor several sectional champions, but this week’s On Tap section will also take a look at some key match-ups to watch.

In our top team this week, we look at a team that turned the fear of being mercy-ruled themselves into a five-inning win of their own. As for the top individual, we go to the track and we go to the Ohio Valley Conference championship meet.

Not all the news this week was scores and brackets. There were also some college decisions made by some southeast basketball players as well as some talented baseball stars.

So here we go! We will start in Gallipolis with a story you will have to read twice to believe and then we will head to the track in the OVC to honor a star named Oakie.


Gallia Academy Baseball: As blogged earlier this week, Gallia Academy provided southeast baseball fans an inning for the record books. Down 13-2 in the sectional semifinal to Vinton County, Gallia was facing the mercy rule as they had one out and no base runners in the home half of the fifth inning. That is when Gallia saw 21 straight batters reach safely capped off by a John Troester grand slam to give Gallia a 23-13 win. All totaled, the Blue Devils sent 22 batters to the plate in the fifth inning with the first batter being retired and the last 21 hitters crossing home plate. What appeared to be a possible five-inning shocker for the sixth seeded Vikings had now become a five-inning win for the three-seed Blue Devils.

Later in the week, Gallia did lose in the sectional championship to Athens; however, Monday’s fifth inning makes them this week’s top team in our southeast huddle area.


Oakie Haynes, Coal Grove Track: Four events…four wins. Oakie Haynes played a major role in helping his Coal Grove Hornets repeat as champions in the Ohio Valley Conference meet this week. Haynes won the long jump before sweeping all three sprinting events – the 100, the 200, and the 400 – to complete a day of dominance.


Southworth, Hatfield, Shermans, & Lady Pioneers All Earn SVC Titles: In many ways the race at this year’s Scioto Valley Conference was a race for second place. On the boys’ side, Unioto was 59 points better than Southeastern and Paint Valley, while individually, Piketon’s Caleb Southworth took the medalist honors. As for the girls, Zane Trace was 23 points clear of second-place Unioto. The Lady Pioneers were led by meet medalist Taylor Hatfield.

Tri Valley Conference Track:
Just like baseball and softball the track champions in the TVC this year are clean sweeps for the same schools. In the Ohio Division, Athens captured both titles while on the Hocking Division side it was Eastern Meigs earning both team titles. Individually, the Ohio top scorers were Belpre’s Hannah Hoffman and John Wine of Nelsonville York. In the Hocking, it was Chanda Cuckler of Federal Hocking and Mikey Johnson of Eastern.

SEOAL Track:
Marietta was able to hold off Chillicothe to take the team title on the girls’ side. Chillicothe took seven individual titles, but Marietta’s depth and balanced in every event allowed them to earn the team title by 1.5 points. The SEOAL league champion on the boys’ side went to Logan High School.

Sectional Champs in Baseball:
A long list of southeast teams captured sectional titles this week. In Division III, five SVC teams captured titles as Adena, Huntington, Piketon, Westfall, and Zane Trace all advanced to the district tournament. Also winning sectional titles were Wellston, Wheelersburg, Lucasville Valley, Belpre, Federal Hocking, Fairland, and Minford.

In Division IV, Manchester, Portsmouth Clay, Green, Portsmouth Notre Dame, Eastern Meigs, Trimble, South Webster, and Racine Southern all advanced to the district tournament.

Finally, in D-II it was Logan Elm, Circleville, Warren, and Athens all won sectional championships this week.

Softball Sectional Champs:
In Division III, Piketon, Adena, Minford, Crooksville, Zane Trace, South Point, Alexander, Rock Hill, Portsmouth West, Northwest, New Lexington, and Lucasville Valley all won sectional titles.

Portsmouth Clay, Whiteoak, Sciotoville East, Belpre, Waterford, Leesburg, Eastern Meigs, South Webster, and Symmes Valley all advanced in Division IV to district play.

Lastly, in D-II the championship list includes Chillicothe, Logan Elm, Athens, Circleville, Waverly, Warren, Sheridan, and Gallia Academy.

Off to College:
In basketball, a pair of sharp-shooters from Maysville announced their college plans this week. Max Huddleston, who averaged 16.2 points per contest this past season, signed to go to Mount Union, while teammate Brandon Ray, a 6-6 post player who scored 10.6 per game, made his decision to go to Defiance.

Chillicothe’s Monique Lee has signed with St. Andrew Presbyterian in North Carolina. Lee will join her sister Megan as a teammate for the Lady Knights.

In baseball, Federal Hocking pitcher Tyler Thompson and Lucasville Valley’s Zach Bukiewicz will now become teammates at West Virginia State as both baseball talents have announced their intentions to play baseball there next spring. Another baseball decision came from Piketon’s Brandon Blackburn. Blackburn is heading to Wilmington College.

Southern Ohio Conference Track:
In Division II – the division of bigger SOC schools, Wheelersburg took team titles in both boys and girls. In Division I, Portsmouth Notre Dame took the boys’ title and Oak Hill won the girls’ title.  Top performers from the night included South Webster’s Kayla Cook and Jordan Selbee of Eastern Pike.

Repeat Theme in OVC Track:
The Coal Grove boys and the Fairland girls both repeated as track champions in this year’s Ohio Valley Conference league meet. As mentioned above in this week’s Player of the Week section, Coal Grove’s Oakie Haynes won the long jump, the 100, the 200, and the 400 to earn top individual honors on the boys’ side. For the Fairland girls’ squad, Sydney Pettit won both the 800 and the 1600 while teammate Megan Ashton won the 3200. The two then teamed to run the final two legs of the winning 4 X 800 relay team.

Over in the East:
Cambridge was downed by Edison 8-3 this week. Edison scored three in the first and two more in the third as Sean Connelly went the distance striking out eight to defeat the Bobcats. For Cambridge, Tyler Hardesty went deep and drove in three runs while Dillon VanDyne was just a homerun shy of the cycle. For Edison, Jarrod Falasca had three hits including a triple. Mark Rodgers added a dinger in the win.

In other baseball action, Union Local defeated Fort Frye 5-4 to win the sectional title. Other sectional champs included River, Bridgeport, Toronto, and Steubenville Central.

On the softball side in the east, Matins Ferry scored four times in the first on its way to a 7-1 win over Barnesville. Cirstie Delguzzo struck out 11 in the win. In other action, Monroe also won a sectional title by defeating Union Local 3-2. Other champions include Indian Creek and St. John.

Another big softball story this week came from the Muskingum Valley League as rivals John Glenn and Philo each earned sectional championships. John Glenn defeated River View 7-4 and Philo beat Cambridge 3-2.

A Sprint to the Finish:
Rounding out other track champions from this past week includes Sheridan taking the girls and boys’ championships in the Muskingum Valley League. In the ECOL, Dover took the girls’ title while Coshocton won the title on the boys’ side. In the Pioneer Valley Conference, Buckeye Trail is the girls’ champion and the Fort Frye boys won the league title as well.


District Track

Division I
The five D-I schools from the southeast combine with East District at Meadowbrook – Wednesday, Friday

Division II
Both boys and girls are split into two sites (Oak Hill & Washington Court House) – Tuesday, Saturday

Division III
Boys are split into two sites (Chillicothe & Oak Hill) – Wednesday, Saturday
Girls are all sent to Oak Hill – Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday (a set-up that has caused several complaints as only four will qualify for regional)

Logan Elm vs. Athens & Warren vs. Circleville, Division II Baseball District Semifinal Doubleheader, Monday, May 17th, V.A. Memorial Stadium, 5 p.m. with the second game to follow 30 minutes after game one ends:
A great night of baseball at a beautiful facility in Chillicothe. There are not many district slots made availability to Division II in the southeast so the four who still stand are very deserving.

Portsmouth West vs. Northwest, Division III Softball District Softball, Monday, May 17th, Northwest High School, 5 p.m.
The eight-seeded Portsmouth West team advanced with a shocking 1-0 upset over Chesapeake and Northwest also captured a sectional title with a mild upset as they were a five seed who beat the four seed Eastern Brown 4-3.

Wheelersburg vs. Piketon, Division III Baseball District Semifinal, Wednesday, May 19th, Athens High School, 5 p.m.
A great district baseball game that involves the probable pitching match-up of Wheelersburg’s senior Andrew Elliott who has pitched and won too many big games in the past four years to mention and Piketon’s phenomenal freshman Zach Farmer who has stormed on the baseball scene this spring posting unreal strikeout totals.

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