Nothing comes easy in the postseason, that was evident when Division II top seed Jonathan Alder was pushed to the limit by No. 20 Whitehall Thursday during the Pioneers’ Central District tournament opener.
Alder found a way to survive the upset-minded Rams with a closer-than-expected 4-3 victory. With the win the Pioneers advance to face either No. 5 Bexley or No. 9 Heath in a D-II district semifinal Monday, May 15. Bexley and Heath were tied in the 10th inning of their contest Thursday when the game was postponed due to darkness.
West Jefferson 6,
Worthington Christian 0
The No. 4 seed Roughriders knocked of the Division III’s second-seeded squad Wednesday and advanced to the district semifinal.
“Last night was a team victory,” West Jeff coach Jason Bogenrife said. “Shane Gray obviously had a great night on the mound. We played very solid defense and had some big hits with runners in scoring position. Everyone contributed.”
The two teams split the regular season series, in this one West Jeff was able to get on top and never looked back. Going on the road to beat a good team will do nothing but build confidence going forward.
“Like I have said before we have a great group of kids,” the coach said. “They work hard and compete hard. We talk about playing in the moment and not playing with fear but playing free and selfless.”
West Jeff will next play in a D-III Central District semifinal against No. 3 Centerburg Monday, May 15 at 5 p.m. The game will be played at a site yet to be determined.
“We have scouted Centerburg and they are a solid baseball team,” Bogenrife said. “We will continue focusing on what we do and executing our game. Everything else will take care of itself.”
Bishop Hartley 10,
The Red Raiders had their season come to an end Thursday with a Division II district tournament home loss to the Hawks.
London committed five errors and Hartley scored four runs in the top of the second inning to take a commanding lead.
For the game London High School had just three hits, a Taylor Riegel and singles by Makayla Ratliff and Alexis Clark.
Jonathan Alder 7,
Columbus International 0 (forfeit)
The third seeded Lady Pioneers advanced to a D-II district final without playing a game.
Alder was rewarded the tournament victory after International was unable to field a team for the contest.
Coach Dave McGrew’s team advances to a D-II district semifinal where it will face No. 5 Granville Tuesday, May 16. This will be the fourth straight year the two teams will have met in the postseason. The site of the game has yet to be determined.
West Jefferson 4
Despite being the third seed in D-III, the Lady Roughriders were unable to pull out a win against visiting Fairbanks Thursday.
After losing in four straight district finals, many assumed West Jeff would get back to that spot again but it wasn’t meant to be.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.