North goes 2-2 on week, Trail picks up first win

Shawnee, South continue impressive starts

R-H Staff

Tri-County North senior Cooper Cole steps up to the plate against Middletown Christian on Monday, April 5.

Tri-County North senior Cooper Cole steps up to the plate against Middletown Christian on Monday, April 5.

Courtesy of Champine Photography

PREBLE COUNTY — National Trail baseball picked up its first win of the season as Preble Shawnee and Twin Valley South continued hot starts to the year.

Preble Shawnee (5-3) picks up pair of wins

Preble Shawnee continued its winning ways this week, picking up wins over Milton-Union and Waynesville to move to 5-3 on the season.

The Arrows began their week with a 6-5 win over Milton Union on Monday, April 5, in which Preble Shawnee walked off the Bulldogs.

Trailing 5-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Cooper Roell connected on a walk-off two RBI double for Shawnee’s then-third straight win.

Roell finished 2-for-4 with a triple and the game winner.

Dylan Hatmaker finished 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and three RBIs. As a team, the Arrows collected 10 hits.

Two days later, it took another team effort in the seventh inning for Preble Shawnee to escape with the 10-7 win over Waynesville on Wednesday, April 7.

Down 7-4 entering the top of the seventh, the Arrows scored six runs to take the 10-7 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, Grady Hutchinson struck out Waynesville’s final batter to secure the win.

Triston Engle started the game for the Arrows, pitching 5 2/3 innings while giving up three hits and five runs.

The Arrows are scheduled to play Dixie on Monday, April 12, at Dixie on Wednesday, April 14, at Bradford on Thursday, April 15, and home against Northridge on Friday, April 16.

National Trail (1-6) picks up first win

The seventh inning spelled defeat for the Blazers in an 18-9 loss to Union County on Monday, April 5.

Down just 11-9 entering the ninth, Union County put up seven runs in the top of the seventh to quell a comeback attempt by Trail.

Scoreless after two innings, UC got on the board first with two runs in the third and four runs in the fourth for a 6-0 lead. The Blazers responded with six runs in the fifth inning, the rally led by an error on a ball put in play by Ben Browning and Cameron Harrison, a single by Isaac Arnold, and a double by Wyatt House.

Michael Hollingsworth took the loss for National Trail, surrendered six runs (five earned) on eight hits over four innings, striking out four and walking one.

Burgan Hoffman, Harrison, Cody Webb, Arnold, House, and Clay Stiner each collected one hit to lead National Trail. Webb tallied three RBIs in the game on a bases clearing double. Ethan Murphy and Isaac Arnold drew two walks in their plate appearances on the night.

The following night, the Blazers fell 7-3 to Franklin Monroe on Tuesday, April 6.

Trail struggled to put runs on the board, and after a five-run third inning by the Jets, the Blazers couldn’t get back into the game.

Harrison took the loss for National Trail, surrendering seven runs on eight hits over five innings and striking out five.

At the plate, House led the Blazers with two hits in three at bats.

Webb finished 1-for-4 with an RBI double. Arnold reached base two times, scoring two of the Blazer runs. Stiner was 1-for-2 with a single and a walk, scoring the other Blazer run.

Following the pair of losses, National Trail picked up its first win of the season, a 5-1 victory over Bradford on Wednesday, April 7.

After three scoreless innings, the Blazers scored runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning, allowing Bradford just one run in the sixth for the 5-1 final.

Webb earned the victory on the mound, allowing two hits and one run over seven innings, striking out seven and walking zero.

As a team, the Blazers racked up eight hits with Harrison and Hoffman each connecting on multiple hits. Hoffman finished 2-for-2 with a single, double and a walk. Harrison was 2-for-3 with a single, double and a run scored. Stiner, Hollingsworth, House, and Arnold had hits for the Blazers. Webb added two walks in the contest.

The Blazers were scheduled to play Newton on Tuesday, April 13, home against Tri-Village on Thursday, April 15, and at Ansonia on Friday, April 16.

Twin Valley South (6-3) splits quartet of games

The South Panthers pulled off a doubleheader sweep of New Miami while falling to CCC foes Arcanum and Bradford this week.

South’s first game was an 8-0 loss to Arcanum on Tuesday, April 6, in which the Panthers collected just five hits compared to Arcanum’s 10 hits.

Kasey Blair, Brayden Burkett, Levi Gearhart, Jace Thuma and Brayden Marker each connected on a hit as Arcanum’s pitching largely shut down the Panthers.

“Their pitcher just pounded the strike zone all night and gave us nothing easy, while their defense was also very solid,” South coach Cory Bassler said. “We’ve got to find a way to manufacture some runs when the other team isn’t just giving them away. I thought Gage [Miller] looked pretty sharp on the mound tonight but they were able to square him up pretty good. Props to Arcanum, they were just very solid all around tonight.”

South returned to the field on Friday, April 9, in a 7-3 loss to Bradford.

Blair hit a leadoff double in the seventh inning, followed by Mikey Crews hitting an RBI single.

“We really struggled at the plate tonight and it allowed Bradford to get a ton of confidence, especially early,” Bassler said. “Their pitcher did a nice job of throwing strikes and changing speeds and we did not make consistent contact against him. Of the 21 outs we recorded at the plate, 14 of them were either pop-ups or strikeouts. We’ve got to do a better job of making the defense work to get outs. I do give Bradford a ton of credit for doing the small things that win baseball games.”

In game one of South’s doubleheader against New Miami on Saturday, April 10, the Panthers won 14-2 in five innings.

Burkett was credited with the win, going three innings and only allowing two runs and three hits while getting three strikeouts.

Crews got the scoring starting with a two RBI double in the first inning, followed by an RBI single from Gearhart.

Burkett hit an RBI single in the second inning, following by a two RBI single from Gage Miller in second inning to give South a 6-1 lead. Crews extended the lead to 10-2 in the third with a two RBI single.

Burkett finished 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. Crews was 2-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs. Levi Gearhart finished 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs.

“We were able to score some runs early and build a nice lead and get comfortable,” Bassler said. “Brayden [Burkett] and Grant [Ulrich] gave us some solid innings on the mound and we made a few plays behind them.”

In game two, South jumped out to another early lead in a dominating 13-1 win. Eric Allison earned the win, allowing no hits and walking five in 3 1/3 innings.

Crews lit up the scoreboard again, connecting on an RBI single in the first inning. Gearhart followed it up with an RBI single in second inning. Logan Clark hit a two RBI single in the fourth inning, and Marker later hit a two RBI triple.

Grant Ulrich went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs. Gearhart and Clark each finished 1-for-2 with a run and two RBIs. Marker was 1-for-2 with a triple, a run and three RBIs.

“Again, we were able to jump out to a nice lead and get comfortable playing ahead,” Bassler said. “We’ve got to avoid getting into bad habits when playing with a big lead but all in all, we did some good things today and can hopefully build on this going forward.”

Tri-County North (3-3) goes 2-2

Tri-County North split its four games this week, picking up 8-5 wins over Middletown Christian on Monday, April 5, and Bradford on Tuesday, April 6, before falling to Arcanum 14-5 on Wednesday, April 7 and Milton-Union, 13-3, on Saturday, April 10.

Tri-County North senior Cooper Cole steps up to the plate against Middletown Christian on Monday, April 5. North senior Cooper Cole steps up to the plate against Middletown Christian on Monday, April 5. Courtesy of Champine Photography
Shawnee, South continue impressive starts

R-H Staff