Mother Nature is clearly a fan of spring sports.
On the first official day high school baseball and softball teams could start playing regular-season games in Ohio. Mother Nature dialed up a 75 degree, sunny day for everyone to enjoy.
A handful of Madison County teams took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather as they opened the 2017 season.
Shekinah Christian 3
East Clinton 7,
The Golden Eagles (1-1) coach Zach Durban saw his team do a lot of good things in splitting a season-opening doubleheader Saturday, March 25. But the coach also knows his young team has a lot to work on going forward.
In the win over the Flames Madison-Plains High School scored eight runs in the bottom of the first inning and rolled to a victory. The Eagles had 14 hits and Thomas Adams was able to go five strong innings on the mound.
“Thomas did run into some trouble with control late but was able to work through it to get the win against Shekinah,” Durban said. “Our offense was outstanding that game. For the game we had five extra-base hits, two of which came from senior leader Jaycee Raines (triple and double). Dylan Bird had two RBI and Ross Buscemi had the game winning walk-off 3-run triple.”
Shekinah’s John Michael Herschberger suffered the loss for the Flames.
In their loss to East Clinton, the Eagles made some mistakes early, recovered to even things up. But ultimately lost thanks in large part to more of the same miscues later in the game.
“I was very pleased with my starting pitching efforts in both games from Thomas Adams and Tyler Gibbs,” the coach said. “They had strong starts and did everything that we ask of our starting pitchers — first pitch strikes, pitch to contact, and go at least five innings. Both guys threw very well and stayed in the strike zone all day.
“Tyler had control issues in the first inning that lead to easy bases for East Clinton in our second game. This was compounded by a couple errors and a couple mental mistakes which resulted in giving them three runs. I liked what I saw from our team after that, fighting and scrapping out three runs playing small ball, good base running, and timely hitting.
“Once Tyler settled down, he pitched five straight scoreless innings which included stranding five base runners in scoring position. East Clinton scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning off of more physical and mental errors. Those were very frustrating because I know that we’ve coached and talked about each mistake before. This will be a learning point for our young team and will be improved upon as we continue this season.”
Plains will host Cedarville in its Ohio Heritage Conference debut at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 30.
Jonathan Alder 9,
The Pioneers (1-0) opened their season in style winning a slugfest with Wheelersburg in a game played at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe Saturday evening, March 25.
Wheelersburg scored runs in its first six at-bats, but it was a 7-run fourth inning by the Pioneers which proved to be the difference.
Junior pitcher Logan Smith picked up the win for Alder.
The Pioneers will be at home Saturday, April 1 when they host Columbus Academy in a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.
West Jefferson 2
The Delaware baseball team scored all the runs it would need in the first inning, plating three on the way to a solid 8-2 season-opening win over host West Jefferson (0-1) Saturday afternoon, March 25.
Shane Gray suffered the loss on the mound for the Roughriders.
Gray, Hunter Braithwaite and Lance Lambert each collected multiple hits for West Jeff.
Buckeye Valley 5,
Buckeye Valley 5
The Barons (1-1) scored five runs in the opening inning and held on to top the visiting Red Raiders (1-1) in the first game of the doubleheader played at Buckeye Valley.
Despite the loss London had more hits with four players collecting two, including Kaitlin Patterson (two triples, two RBI), Ryleigh Bexfield, Makayla Ratliff and Alexis Clark.
The Red Raiders offense continued to roll in the second game and this time resulted in a win.
Patterson had four more hits, including a 2-run home run. Bexfield (two RBI), Ratliff, Macy Mullins and Taylor Riegel all had multiple hits in the win.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.