The McIntosh Chiefs went down swinging in round one, pushing number seven ranked Columbus Blue Devils to the brink. McIntosh took game one of the best-of-three series 12-6 before losing 5-0 in game two. The Chiefs tried to rally again in game three, but came up just short in a 10-9 loss.
Game one started out ugly for the Chiefs as the Blue Devils built up a 5-0 lead after three innings. The bats woke up in the fourth with three runs. Chase Walter plated the first Chief run, scoring on a passed ball. Christophe Senghor added the next one with a sacrifice to score Zach Sanders. Drew Plant then singled home Jacob Cole to make it a 5-3 game.
The Chiefs tacked on one more in the sixth to pull within 6-4 as Daniel Blair drove in Mike Eberle.
McIntosh exploded for eight runs in the top of the seventh for the win. Garrett Stewart singled Tyler Biltimier home, and Senghor drove in Cole to tie the game at 6-6, but they were far from done. Blair plated the go-ahead run on a sacrifice, Eberle racing home. Andrew Pinckney followed with a RBI single, and Van Neeley roped a two-RBI single. Biltimier added the big blast with a two-run home run for the final tally in a 12-6 victory.
Hudson MacNellis was huge for the Chiefs, pitching four innings of scoreless relief for the win.
Daniel Blair, Van Neeley, Tyler Biltimier, and Christophe Senghor drove in two runs apiece. Drew Plant, Andrew Pinckney, and Garrett Stewart each drove in one.
Game two was the opposite in terms of luck for the Chiefs as they were shutout 5-0. Daniel Blair was solid on the mound, throwing five innings with no earned runs, but three errors and eight walks would help the Blue Devils score their five runs on only three hits. Tyler Biltimier added two innings of hitless relief.
The decisive game three was filled with wild momentum swings. After Columbus scored one run in the first, McIntosh responded with four in the first and three in the second.
The Chiefs took advantage of Columbus defensive miscues to get the ball rolling. After Drew Plant singled and Hartman reached on an error, Neeley raced to first on a dropped third strike that scored Plant. Jacob Cole punched a two-run single to right field to take the lead, and Garrett Stewart drove in a run for a 4-1 lead.
Chase Walter doubled home a run in the second, and Cole reached a fielder’s choice for another. Christophe Senghor singled home Andrew Pinckney for a 7-1 lead after two innings.
Trailing by six runs, Columbus answered with two runs in the third and five in the fourth to grab a 8-7 lead. They added two more to put McIntosh up against a 10-7 deficit down to their final three outs.
Jack Hartman led off the seventh with a single and scored on a Chase Walter triple, and Walter scored on a Jacob Cole sacrifice, but the Chiefs would not beat able to get the last run, falling 10-9.
Starr’s Mill battled to the end, taking the number six ranked Northside-Columbus Patriots to game three in round one of the state playoffs. After losing game one 6-2, the Panthers pounded the Patriots 10-3 in game two before falling 3-2 in game three.
In game three, the Panthers could not hold off a Northside rally in a 3-2 loss. Starr’s Mill mustered one run in the first inning and one in the seventh.
Northside tied the game in the fifth and pulled ahead 3-1 heading into the seventh.
Down to their final three outs, Starr’s Mill led off with back-to-back singles, and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. An infield popup and a strikeout pushed them to their last out. They plated one run, but could not tie up the game, falling 3-2.
Whitewater’s baseball season came to an end Friday against the same squad that beat them in the state championship series last year, the Buford Wolves.
The circumstances were much different this year with Whitewater having to replace much of last year’s squad and Buford just as loaded as ever, ranked number two in AAAA entering the playoffs. Even with the odds stacked against them, the Wildcats left everything out on the diamond, pushing the Wolves in a 9-5 loss in game one and narrowly falling 5-4 in the clincher.
In game one, Buford jumped out early with two runs in the first inning and three in the second to put the Wildcats in a deep hole.
Whitewater’s bats got into gear in the top of the fifth as they exploded for five runs. The Cats loaded the bases with no outs, Logan Worley leading off with a single, Levi Whitlock getting plunked, and Austin Adams notching a bunt single. Tyler Doanes smoked a two-run double, and Miles Jones followed with a two-run single. Jones would later score on a passed ball to make it a 5-5 game.
Unfortunately for the Cats, they would not be able to hold Buford in check, allowing four runs in the sixth in the 9-5 loss.
Buford started game two just as hot, putting up one run in the first and three in the second. Whitewater mustered a pair in the bottom of the first, one on a leadoff solo home run from Adams. Connor Nalley plated the other on a sacrifice.
The Wildcats plated one run in the third, Tyler Doanes stealing third and racing home on an error by the Buford catcher.
Buford pushed one more across in the fourth.
Whitewater crossed the plate again in the the fifth, Adams scoring on a groundout. They would not be able to score again in the 5-4 loss.
Matthew Henderson got the start in game two, settling down after the rocky start with a final line of five innings, four earned runs, and two strikeouts. Hunter Guess threw two innings of scoreless relief.
Austin Adams was dynamic in the series, 5-for-8 from the leadoff spot, along with one RBI and three runs. Tyler Doanes and Miles Jones led in run production with two RBI apiece.
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