J.P. Cantrell drove in two runs in a four-run fifth inning as Clinton-Massie rallied to defeat Wilmington 8-6 in South Central Ohio League baseball action on the WHS diamond.
The win puts the Falcons at 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the SCOL. The win moves Clinton-Massie a game ahead of the Hurricane in the league standings.
Wilmington falls to 4-5 overall and 3-1 in the league.
“It was depressing,” WHS coach Rick Kneisel said. “Not a good day at the ballpark.”
But it started out like it was going to be a day fit for the Hurricane, literally. It was windy (blowing out to left-centerfield), cool and rainy for much of the game.
“I want to commend the Wilmington coaches,” CM head coach Brian Camp said. “The field was in great shape. It withstood the elements.”
Camp is a WHS graduate and was the head baseball coach prior to Kneisel getting the job.
“It was nasty,” said Kneisel. “It was not baseball weather.”
After a Noah Greathouse line-drive homerun in the first for the Falcons, Wilmington put four runs on the board and led 4-1 after three innings. Chris Wolary scored on a wild pitch to tie the game in the second. Stephen Krause tripled home Marlyn Frisco to give WHS a 2-1 lead. Krause came in on a passed ball. Chad Davis scored on Jordan Ianson’s run batted in to make it 4-1.
With Ianson (1-1 with the loss) on the mound, it seemed like a safe lead for the Hurricane.
“It was tough pitching tonight,” said Camp. “The weather was terrible. Credit to our kids; they kept battling.”
Cantrell’s two-run single to right field in the fifth tied the game at 4-4. Aric France then drove one into the wind tunnel in left-center for a triple that plated Weston Trampler to put CM on top for good 5-4.
Wilmington put two runners on in the fifth but Trampler worked out of that unscathed.
In the Massie sixth, with Brad Keller pitching for WHS, Greathouse (three hits and two RBI) singled in Wolf then Max Murray scored on a wild pitch as the Falcons increased their lead to 7-4. Greathouse later scored on another ball that eluded WHS catcher Kaden Laufer.
“Early in the game, we had a few errors that allowed them to get ahead,” Camp said. “Later in the game, they had a few errors that we were able to capitalize on.”
Wilmington made things interesting with a pair of runs in the sixth. Krause, who had two hits and two RBI, homered to left-center, a solo shot. Wolary singled and Brady McCune walked to chase Trampler and bring France to the mound.
He was greeted by a Chad Davis double that plated Wolary and made it 8-6. France retired the next two batters to end that threat.
The hard-throwing Falcon lefty walked two in the seventh to bring the winning run to the plate but worked out of that jam to earn his first save of te year and give Trampler the win and a 3-0 record.
“I really think our league, there’s three or four teams that are capable of winning it,” said Camp. “So every game is a tough game. It’s good to be 4-0 in the league. We’re just going to try to keep the ball rolling.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.