LEWISBURG — On Wednesday, May 11, the Tri-County North Panthers began their journey to attempt to win the 2016 state baseball crown. The top seed Panthers earned a first-round bye in sectionals and played against the Emmanuel Christian Academy Lions who earlier defeated Catholic Central. The Panthers beat the Lions 12-2 on nine hits, while Emmanuel suffered seven errors to help TCN advance to the sectional finals against Southeastern, Wednesday, May 18, at 5 p.m.
ECA started off first, but went scoreless on the first four batters. North saw leadoff batter Garrett Woodyard strikeout, while Zach Edgin got on base on a 4-0 count. An error by ECA trying to throw to first against Tanner Booth put runners at third and second.
Chandler Sproles grounded out, failing to advance the runners. Logan Elmore then reached base on a second ECA error, which brought home Edgin and Booth, while Elmore took second base, giving North the early lead.
The Lions began a surge in the second inning, beginning with a hit batsmen on the lead-off hitter. A sacrifice fly and another hit batter and the bases were loaded after a single. Then, a fielding error allowed the Lions their two runs of the evening before the Panthers got the third out of the inning.
From there, TCN scored the next 10 runs in the game, including a five-run barrage in the second inning.
Booth earned the complete game and the win for the Panthers, striking out two while throwing only 57 pitches. He also didn’t walk a single ECA batter. The team combined for six singles and a double from Bo Hendrickson. Sproles, Jordan Overcash, and Booth tied with two RBIs. Edgin, Overcash, and Liam Downing went 2-for-3 batting on the evening. Edgin scored four times.
Tri-County North will next face Southeastern, who is the second seeded team in the Dayton 1 district. The winner will advance to Districts on Friday, May 20, at Lebanon High School.
Reach Oliver at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter@osanders_RH