A run in the seventh inning capped an amazing comeback for the Lehman baseball team, and led to a heartbreaking loss for Russia in a Division 4 Sectional final at Hardman Field in Piqua Wednesday.
The 7-6 victory for the Cavaliers puts them in the district championship on Friday at 5 p.m. at Centerville against either Tri Village or Franklin Monroe. The Cavs are now 21-4 on the year.
Unfortunately, the win could be a costly one. Starting pitcher Nate Bosway appeared to reinjure his surgically-repaired pitching arm and likely will not pitch the remainder of the season. Head coach Dave King he’s still unsure whether Bosway will play at all, and he’s the team’s leading hitter.
Russia scored one in the first, then four more in the third for a 5-0 lead, and led 6-1 going into the bottom of the sixth. But that’s when the Cavaliers rallied against Jonah Counts.
Walks to Dylan Arnold and Stephen Monnin and fielder’s choice had put runners on first and third with one out. After an errant throw to second on Owen Smith’s walk, Arnold scored to make it 6-2.
Bryant McCarty then entered the game for Russia.
Tyler Lachey had an infield single to make it 6-3 and a walk to Brandon Barhorst loaded the bases. Bryce Kennedy and Parker Riley had RBI singles to right field to make it a 6-5 game and Max Schutt’s sacrifice fly tied it to set up the seventh inning rally.
Russia had done a great job of playing small ball all game and all six runs came after two were out in the inning.
The Raiders made it 1-0 in the first. After Connor Monnin and Counts had walked, Monnin hustled home from second when a pickoff throw got away down the first base line.
Russia took control in the third, scoring four runs after two outs and the bases were empty to take the 5-0 lead. Zach Sherman was hit by a pitch, Counts singled, Hunter Cohee and McCarty both had RBI singles and two runs scored when Jared Goubeaux reached on an error, making it 5-0.
Lehman threated to get back in the game in the home third.
Russia made it 6-1 in the fourth off Parker Riley, who had relieved Bosway. Deion Puthoff reached on an error and with two outs, Zach Sherman had a RBI single to make it 6-1.
It stayed that way until Lehman’s game-winner in the seventh.
Stephen Monnin walked to lead off the inning, and was sacrificed to second by Ian Smith. Owen Smith then walked, and Tyler Lachey singled to left-center to plate Monnin and sent the Cavaliers on to the district.
“Can’t say enough about the bottom of the order, getting the job done,” said King. “It was a great team win and an unbelievable high school game. But bittersweet with Nate. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Russia outhit the Cavs 12-8 and had five players with two hits each. Counts and McCarty both singled and doubled, and Hunter Cohee, Jared Goubeaux and Dion Puthoff all had two singles.
Parker Riley and Tyler Lachey had two hits and two RBIs apiece, Bosway doubled and Brandon Barhorst scored twice. And Riley came on for Bosway in the third and kept the Raiders at bay.
Rus.`104 100 0`6`12`1
Leh.`001 005 1`7`8`2
Counts, McCarty (6) (LP) and Goubeaux; Bosway, Riley (3) (WP) and Schutt.
Records: Lehman 21-4, Russia 15-9.
Lehman’s next tournament game: Friday, district championship at Newton vs. Tri-Village, 5 p.m.
Triad 4, Loramie 0
SIDNEY — Fort Loramie didn’t take advantage of scoring opportunities early and came out on the short end of a 4-0 shutout at the hands of Triad in Division 4 Sectional final action at Sidney High School on Wednesday.
The loss ends Loramie’s season at 18-10. Triad advances to the district finals Friday with a 22-7 record.
“We had them on the ropes early but we couldn’t get that clutch hit,” said Fort Loramie coach Bill Sturwold. “We left five or six runners on bases in the first three innings. But the kids played hard right to the end.”
Triad broke a scoreless deadlock with two in the bottom of the fourth, then added two more in the sixth. When the game ended, Triad had one less hit that Loramie, 6-5.
“If we only give up five, hits, I’m pretty confident of a victory,” said Sturwold. “But we couldn’t get the big hit, and Triad played a very clean game. They made some nice plays.”
Drew Wehrman was 2 for 3 with a double for the Redskins.
FL`000 000 0`0`6`4
Triad`000 202 x`4`5`0
Wehrman (LP), Rose (7) and Kitzmiller; Ford and Instine.
Records: Loramie 18-10, Triad 22-7.
Anna 4, Greenon 2
ENGLEWOOD — Anna’s Alex Brinkman was overpowering on the mound, striking out 13 batters, to pitch the Rockets to a 4-2 victory over Greenon in a Division 3 Sectional championship game Wednesday at Northmont High School.
The win put the Rockets at 23-3-1 on the season and puts them in the district championship Friday at 5 p.m. at Kenton Ridge High School against Cincinnati Roger Bacon.
Anna scored three times in the first and once in the second, then turned it over to Brinkman. The Rockets managed just four hits and were outhit 6-4 by the Knights.
Aidan Endsley, Nathan Frilling and Luke Albers all had RBI singles in the bottom of the first for the Rockets, and Zach Watren had a run-scoring single in the second.
Joey Cummings came on to pitch the seventh and earn his seventh save of the season.
Gree.`002 000 0`2`6`2
Anna`310 000 x`4`4`0
Brinkman (WP), Cummings (7) (S) and White; Winter and Gmuca.
Records: Anna 23-3-1, Greenon 11-16
Anna’s next tournament game: Friday, district championship at Kenton Ridge vs. Cincinnati Roger Bacon, 5 p.m.