WJ becomes the hunted


No. 1 state-ranked ‘Riders are district’s top seed

By Chris Miles - cmiles@aimmediamidwest.com



Jonathan Alder’s Evan Martin blocks a pitch during the Pioneers home loss to Hilliard Bradley Saturday.

Jonathan Alder’s Evan Martin blocks a pitch during the Pioneers home loss to Hilliard Bradley Saturday.


Jay Gehres | Gehres Photography

West Jefferson’s Justin Gatley, right, is greeted at home plate by teammates after hitting a fourth-inning grand slam in a 7-2 win at Fairbanks Monday.


Jay Gehres | Gehres Photography

The zero in the loss column might as well be a giant a big bulls-eye for the West Jefferson High School baseball team as it prepares for the Division III Central District tournament.

The Roughriders’ (20-0, 13-0 in OHC North) are the No. 1 ranked Division III team in the state of Ohio, champions of the Ohio Heritage Conference North Division and as they make their way through the final week of the regular season, they were tabbed as the No. 1 seed in the upcoming D-III Central District tournament.

The Roughriders’ district bracket includes No. 3 seed Fredericktown, the squad that defeated West Jeff in the district championship a year ago. Also in the bracket are No. 7 Elgin, No. 10 Grandview and No. 11 Pleasant.

Madison-Plains High School (8-9) split a pair of games over the weekend at the Denny Morris Classic, losing 10-o to Westfall before rallying for a 4-3 victory in the second game.

“We struggled to get much going in the first game,” Madison-Plains coach Zach Durban said. “Westfall had a solid freshmen who pitched very well and kept our offense quiet. We committed too many errors once again and misplayed some other defensive opportunities.

“We had our very own freshmen pitcher, Ryan Ernst, throw great for us in the second game. Ryan, in just his second varsity pitching appearance, threw a complete game and was very efficient. I was proud of his calm, yet aggressive pitching. He really challenged hitters to swing and stayed in the strike zone all game.”

The coach said he got solid defense from Adyn Gammell, Kosta Xenikis and Isaac Puckett.

Madison-Plains High School also picked up a 7-5 win over Southeastern Monday.

“I’m very proud of Tyler Gibbs effort on the mound tonight earning his third victory on the season on his senior night,” Durban said Monday. “He really battled all game and pitched to contact. Our defense played solid only committing one error on the game.”

Jon Peters had two hits and Timmy Gillian had two RBI.

“I like that it was a team effort both offensively and defensively tonight. Everyone had productive at-bats and contributed to the win.”

Division II

Jonathan Alder is the No. 4 seed in the D-II district tournament and has a first-round bye. The Pioneers (11-6, 7-3 in CBC Kenton Trail) will host the winner of the first-round tilt between No. 13 Bexley and No. 16 Eastmoor Academy on Thursday, May 10 at 5 p.m.

Jonathan Alder High School is coming off a tough 13-1 loss at the hands of Hillard Bradley Saturday, April 28.

The other top seeds in the bracket with Alder include No. 2 DeSales, No. 6 Hartley, No. 7 Buckeye Valley and No. 9 London.

The Red Raiders (14-5), champions of the Mid-State League Ohio Division, also have a bye and will host either No. 10 Heath or No. 21 Marion-Franklin May 10 at 5 p.m.

“A first-round bye is nice,” London High School coach Nick Blake said. “We will also get to play the second round game at home which is something I know the guys will enjoy.”

Division IV

Shekinah Christian is the No. 8 seed in D-IV and will play host to Fairfield Christian Academy Monday, May 7 at 5 p.m. The winner of that game will advance to face the winner between No. 3 Ridgedale and No. 12 Wellington on Wednesday, May 9, that contest will be played at the better seeded team.

Jonathan Alder’s Evan Martin blocks a pitch during the Pioneers home loss to Hilliard Bradley Saturday.
https://www.plaincity-advocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2018/05/web1_JDG_3248a_-JAHS-Catcher-Evan_-BLOCKS.jpgJonathan Alder’s Evan Martin blocks a pitch during the Pioneers home loss to Hilliard Bradley Saturday. Jay Gehres | Gehres Photography

West Jefferson’s Justin Gatley, right, is greeted at home plate by teammates after hitting a fourth-inning grand slam in a 7-2 win at Fairbanks Monday.
https://www.plaincity-advocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2018/05/web1_JDG_8986a_-WJHS-No2_-Celebrates-Grand-Slam.jpgWest Jefferson’s Justin Gatley, right, is greeted at home plate by teammates after hitting a fourth-inning grand slam in a 7-2 win at Fairbanks Monday. Jay Gehres | Gehres Photography
No. 1 state-ranked ‘Riders are district’s top seed

By Chris Miles

cmiles@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.

Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.