DAYTON — Fort Loramie stretched its winning streak to 23 games in a nonconference contest against Versailles on Monday.
The Redskins scored one run in each the first and second innings to take control and then ran away with three runs in both the third and fourth innings in an 9-3 win over the Tigers at Fifth Third Field.
Fort Loramie (16-0, 7-0 Shelby County Athletic League) hasn’t lost since a 1-0 defeat at Coldwater on May 12, 2018. The Redskins won their last seven games last season, six of which were tournament contests on their way to winning the Division IV state title.
Monday’s game was the second of a high school doubleheader at the Dayton Dragons’ home field. The game started 50 minutes late due to Lehman Catholic’s nonconference game against Dayton Christian running long, but the Redskins didn’t make their fans wait to cheer any longer as they scored in the top of the first.
CJ Billing hit a two-out single to left field, then Jared Middendorf hit a double on a line drive along the left-field line. A throw to home plate on Middendorf’s hit was high, and Billing easily scored to put Fort Loramie ahead 1-0.
The Redskins added one run in the second. Versailles pitcher Zach Niekamp walked Darren Hoying with one out, then hit Shane Hilgefort with a pitch. After a outfield flyout by Carter Mescher, Nathan Raterman hit an RBI single to center field.
Niekamp’s struggles continued in the third as he walked the first four batters of the inning to put Fort Loramie ahead 3-0. After Hoying hit a pop out, Niekamp hit Hilgefort to bring in another run.
Versailles swapped Niekamp for Nathan Wagner, but Mescher hit a sacrifice flyout to score another run and increase the lead to 5-0.
Ethan Kremer and Zach Schlater started the third with outfield singles for Versailles, but after Andrew Demange hit a line-drive single to right field, Kremer was thrown out at home plate. The next two batters hit into routine outs to end the inning.
The Redskins scored three runs in the fourth. Billing led off the inning with a single to right field, then Middendorf walked and Wehrman hit a single to left field to score one run.
Versailles catcher Kyle Pothast made a leaping catch after a bunt attempt by Ben Barhorst went high along the first-base line, then Eli Rosengarten grounded out. Darren Hoying then hit a single on a hard grounder to right field to score two runs and put the Redskins ahead 8-0.
Middendorf started on the mound for Fort Loramie and was replaced by Nathan Raterman in the fourth. He didn’t allow a hit in the next two innings and had three strikeouts.
Billing was brought on in the sixth to pitch for Fort Loramie and gave up two singles on hard outfield grounders by Will Eversole and Conner VanSkyock to start the inning. Ryan Martin then hit a grounder to Billing, and he fired a throw over the third baseman’s head, which allowed Eversole to score.
Adam Kremer then hit an RBI single to center field and Ethan Kremer drove home another run on a fielder’s choice to bring Versailles within 8-3.
Fort Loramie added a run in the seventh when Billing hit an RBI single to center field.
Fort Loramie will travel to Houston in SCAL play on Thursday. Versailles will host Minster in MAC play on Tuesday.
It’s the second win of the season for Fort Loramie over Versailles. The Redskins beat Versailles 7-2 on April 13.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.