Last updated: April 18. 2014 3:43PM - 442 Views
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Jonathan Alder's Cody Rankin, right, can't get the ball fast enough to tag a River Valley baserunner out during a game earlier this week.
Jonathan Alder's Cody Rankin, right, can't get the ball fast enough to tag a River Valley baserunner out during a game earlier this week.
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The West Jefferson baseball team finds itself tied atop the Mid-State League Ohio Division standings after an impressive victory over Columbus Academy Thursday, April 17.

The Roughriders (9-3, 5-1) dumped the Vikings 7-2 to grab a share of the league lead.

“We knew going into the game that they are a very strong team, their pitching is what we were really worried about,” West Jeff coach Jason Bogenrife said. “But you know we take the attitude of we’re going to win this game no matter who we’re playing and where the game is at.

“That’s the new era of West Jeff baseball. We’re going to play you tough and we expect to come away with a win.”

The victory over Academy was a return to the norm for West Jeff starting pitcher Caleb Ferguson. The lefty started the season with back-to-back shutout victories, but was touched up in his last outing. He didn’t have his best stuff against the Vikings, but he was able to make pitches and get key outs when he needed to.

Against the talented Vikings (8-2, 5-1) lineup he allowed just four hits. Alex Wihl came in during the sixth inning to get the final outs.

“Caleb didn’t have his good stuff, his velocity wasn’t there, but he was able to fight and threw strikes,” the coach said. “He gave us a strong outing.”

Each team scored a first inning run, but the Roughriders got a pair in each of the third, fifth and seventh innings to break things open. Academy scored a seventh-inning run.

Ferguson had two hits and Chandler Perry was 3 for 4 at the plate.

“We’re very pleased with where we’re at,” Bogenrife said. “We have a lot of work to do. We’ve got London and Bexley this (upcoming) week in the league. We haven’t seen London yet, and we played a tight one with Bexley the first time around so we know it won’t be easy.”

Elgin 3,

Jonathan Alder 1

The plug apparently has been pulled on the Jonathan Alder baseball team’s offensive production.

After starting the season 6-0 and scoring 58 runs in the process, the Pioneers have struggled in the last week, scoring a grand total of two run in three tough losses.

The latest setback was a 3-1 loss at Elgin Thursday, April 17. Alder could only muster four hits and scored the lone run, leaving starting pitcher Mitchell Eye with nothing to show from a strong pitching performance.

Elgin had just the three runs on six hits. The loss drops the Pioneers three games behind the league leading squad from Elgin (9-0, 6-0).

The team will look to get back on track when it travels to River Valley Wednesday, April 23. River Valley started the current losing streak for Alder with a 2-0 shutout of the Pioneers. The other loss was a 3-1 defeat against North Union Wednesday, April 16.

Madison-Plains 10,

Grove City

Christian 1

The Golden Eagles (2-8, 1-5) picked up their first-non-league victory of the season with a 16-hit effort at Grove City Christian (5-4) Thursday, April 17.

Plains jumped out on top early by plating two runs in the first inning and three more in the second. The team went on to score runs in five of the seven innings.

Brandon Gartin picked up the win on the mound, as he scattered three hits, allowed a run in a complete game effort.

Grandview 4,

London 3

The Red Raiders (3-7, 1-5) had a 3-1 lead heading into the sixth inning of their MSL Ohio match-up at Grandview Thursday, April 17, but couldn’t hold on for a win.

The Bobcats scored a run in the sixth inning and a pair in the bottom of the seventh to steal the victory.

Brok Bennett was the hard-luck loser in the game. On a positive note, the string of errors that plagued the Raiders in a loss Wednesday against Columbus Academy were not an issue as London played error-free baseball.

Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 18 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.

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