The Miami Trace Panthers varsity baseball team captured a Sectional championship, defeating the Circleville Tigers, 5-3, Thursday, May 11 at MTHS.
The Panthers advance to the District semifinals where they will take on Unioto Monday at 7 p.m. at Athens High School. Unioto defeated Chillicothe Thursday, 2-0.
Miami Trace (16-6) had to come from behind as Circleville (10-18) scored twice in the top of the third inning.
The Panthers responded with four runs in the third and one in the fourth and were able to make that stand up.
The Tigers did score one in the top of the seventh.
Trenton Harris started and went the distance for the Panthers for the win.
Harris struck out six and did not walk a batter with three earned runs on six hits.
“Trenton pitched a great ballgame,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Smith said. “The difference between this game and some of the games he’s pitched when he pitched well and lost was, we didn’t magnify; even the two runs they scored (in the third), that could have been a real big inning for Circleville. We gained our composure and held them.
“The same in the last inning,” Smith said. “The first two guys got on and we held our composure. Trenton pitched a great game. That’s what seniors are supposed to do in tournament time and I’m proud of him.”
Jake Mancini started and pitched six inning, suffering the loss for the Tigers.
He allowed five runs on seven hits with four walks and five strikeouts.
“He’s a good pitcher,” Smith said of Mancini. “He got us a few times. Overall, I was happy with the way we played. The kids did what they needed to do. They were ready to play tonight.
“When you get in the tournament, you know the other team is going to have a good pitcher,” Smith said. “(Mancini’s) a three-year starter and just a junior. We had to play good baseball to beat him.”
For Circleville in the third, Andrew Barnhart led off with a single.
Jon Burns followed with a hit and Mason Downs bunted the two runners into scoring position.
Brandon Burroughs singled to drive in Barnhart and Caleb Brooks grounded out, scoring Burns.
The Panthers answered right back in the bottom of the third.
Hunter Moore led off with a single and stole second.
Josh Morton singled and Brady Wallace walked to load the bases.
Harris walked, forcing in Moore.
Mitchell Creamer hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Morton to tie the game.
Skyler McDonald hit a double, scoring Wallace and Jacob Batson singled, scoring McDonald.
The Panthers scored what proved to be their final run of the game in the fourth.
With one out, Moore singled, followed by a single from Morton and a bunt single by Wallace.
Harris hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Moore to make it 5-2.
After a scoreless fifth and sixth inning for both teams, Circleville rallied in the seventh, coming up with one run.
Brad Henry led off with a single and Barnhart singled.
Cole Jones hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Henry.
Jones was caught stealing and the next batter struck out to end the game.
Other tournament scores from Thursday: Washington 2, Fairfield Union 0; Warren 1, Waverly 0; Athens 9, Gallia Academy 4; Logan Elm 9, Hillsboro 1; Marietta 10, Meigs 1.
Offensively for Miami Trace: Josh Morton, 2-3, 1 run; Brady Wallace, 1-2, 1 run; Trenton Harris, 0-1, 1 run, 2 rbi; Mitchell Creamer, 0-2, 1 rbi; Skyler McDonald, 1-3, 1 2b, 1 rbi; Jacob Batson, 1-3, 1 rbi; Heath Cockerill, 0-2; Dalton Mayer, 0-3; Hunter Moore, 2-3, 1 runs; Austin Mathews, 0-0, 1 run.
Offensively for Circleville: Brandon Burroughs, 1-3; Caleb Brooks, 0-3; Garret Gray, 1-3; Jon Burns, 0-3; Jake Mancini, 0-3; Brad Henry, 1-3, 1 run; Andrew Barnhart, 2-3, 1 run; Cole Jones, 1-3, 1 run; Mason Downs, 0-1; Grant Hill, 0-1.
C 002 000 1 — 3 6 0
MT 004 100 x — 5 7 0
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1