The Miami Trace Panthers kept their hopes alive for a Frontier Athletic Conference baseball co-championship with a four-run sixth inning rally to defeat Hillsboro Monday at Miami Trace High School.
Hillsboro is now 7-2 in the FAC with a game remaining against the McClain Tigers Monday, May 6.
The Panthers finish the 2019 FAC schedule at 7-3. Monday’s win was their sixth FAC victory in a row after starting defense of their 2018 co-championship with the Washington Blue Lions at 1-3.
Austin Brown got the win in relief for the Panthers. He pitched 1.2 innings with one hit, no runs, no walks and two strikeouts.
Austin Mathews started and pitched the first 5.1 innings for Miami Trace. He allowed nine hits and six runs (three earned) with four walks, five strikeouts and one hit batsman.
Magulac started for the Indians and pitched 3.1 innings with three hits, five earned runs, five walks and three strikeouts.
Humphreys took the loss for the Indians. He pitched 2.2 innings with six hits and four earned runs, two walks and no strikeouts.
Dalton Mayer came up with a crucial double in the bottom of the sixth for Miami Trace with the Panthers trailing by one run, the bases loaded and two out. He doubled to the fence in left-center, scoring Connor Bucher, Drew Batson and Cody Brightman.
In the third inning, Brown hit a bases-clearning double, part of a five-run frame that gave Miami Trace at that time a 5-1 lead.
“That at least solidifies us in second place, no matter what,” Miami Trace head coach Rob Smith said. “Being 1-3 in the league and then winning six in a row, these kids could have folded at one time.
“Our kids didn’t quit,” Smith said.
The Panthers trailed 1-0 after Hillsboro scored in the top of the third.
Miami Trace took a 5-1 lead after batting in the bottom of the third.
Hillsboro began its comeback with two runs in the fourth, two more in the fifth and one in the sixth to go in front, 6-5.
“Our bats came through in two or three situations,” Smith said. “We had a chance early in the ball game. But, they didn’t hang their heads. If we can come through with runners on, we’re a good baseball team. That’s been our struggle all year.
“Hillsboro is a very good baseball team,” Smith said. “Matt (Garman, the Indians’ head coach) does a great job. That was a huge win. If McClain beats them next Monday, we’ll be co-champs again. I’m proud that our season has turned around. Now we have a stretch of non-league games where we have to get better and better for the tournament.
“We might see McClain, or Hillsboro, possibly Court House in the tournament,” Smith said. “We’re probably not done with league teams.”
Miami Trace (11-5 overall) is home Tuesday to take on Logan Elm at 5 p.m.
In games involving FAC teams Monday, Lucasville Valley beat Washington, 4-3; Chillicothe defeated McClain, 6-3 and Wheelersburg upended Jackson, 10-3.
In softball action Monday, Miami Trace defeated Hillsboro, 4-0; Minford beat Washington, 9-0.
In baseball action Saturday, Waverly defeated Washington, 9-2 and Piketon edged the Blue Lions, 1-0. Watch the Record-Herald for a report on those games later this week.
H 001 221 0 — 6 10 1
MT 005 004 x — 9 9 4
Offensively for Miami Trace: Connor Bucher, 2-3, 2 runs, 1 bb, 1 sb; Drew Batson, 2-3, 1 run, 1 2b, 1 bb; cody Brightman, 1-3, 1 run, sac fly, 1 rbi; Dalton Mayer, 2-3, 2 runs, 1 2b, 3 rbi, 1 bb; Gavin Taulbee, 1-3, 1 bb, 1 rbi; Josh Gilmore, 0-2, 1 run, 1 bb; Luke Henry, 0-2, 1 bb, 1 rbi; Austin Brown, 1-3, 1 sb, 3 rbi; Mason Snow, 0-2, 1 bb.
Offensively for Hillsboro: Crum, 1-3, 1 run, 1 2b; Thompson, 2-4, 1 rbi; Scott, 2-4, 2 runs, 1 rbi; Humphreys, 1-3, 3 rbi.