SIDNEY — In what can only be called a tournament classic, the Russia Raiders scored three in the top of the 10th and that was enough to defeat Lehman 7-4 in a Division IV Sectional baseball final at Sidney High School Wednesday.
The victory puts the Raiders at 20-6 on the season and advances them to the district championship on Friday at Springboro High School against Newton at 5 p.m.
The Cavaliers see their season end with a final 23-4 mark.
The Raiders took a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first two innings off Lehman ace Parker Riley, who went all 10 innings and still stayed under the pitch count.
But the Cavaliers battled back with a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth for a 3-2 lead, one that had head coach Dave King feeling good at that point.
“I felt good with six outs to go and Parker on the mound,” King said. “But give Russia credit. They came back.”
Shelby County League player of the year Hunter Cohee tied the game up in the top of the sixth with a solo home run, and when Kevin Drees followed with a single and Jack Dapore a double, the Raiders were back on top at 4-3.
But the Cavaliers responded as well. Bryce Kennedy walked and got to second as the next batter went down on strikes. King then sent up RJ Bertini to pinch hit, and he delivered an RBI single to tie the game up.
Dapore came on in the sixth for Russia after the Cavs tied it, and he held them in check the rest of the way.
“Dapore was the difference in the game,” said King. “He really shut us down.”
It went to the 10th, and after an out, Dylan Cordonnier doubled for Russia. Then came singles by Drew Sherman and Cohee, and two Lehman throwing errors. It all led to three runs and the Cavs couldn’t recover.
Cohee wound up with four hits, including a double and a homer, and Evan Monnier had two hits. Jared Magoteaux and Riley had two hits each for Lehman.
Riley struck out 11 and walked only one — intentionally — as he put the finishing touches on an amazing last two years for the Cavs. The loss he suffered Wednesday was his first in the past two seasons, during which he compiled a 22-1 record.
Russia pitchers struck out 12 and walked three.
TROY — Newton coach Jordan Kopp knows exactly what he’s going to get out of Treg Jackson.
After three sectional titles in three years, it’s becoming clear to everyone else, as well.
Jackson struck out 13 and allowed only three Troy Christian hits during Wednesday’s Division IV sectional championship game at Duke Park, leading the second-seeded Indians (26-2) to an 8-1 victory over the upset-minded No. 10 Eagles (10-11) and into a third consecutive district final.
Newton will play Russia at 5 p.m. Friday at Springboro for the D-IV district title.
“What Treg does for us, I really can’t put into words,” Kopp said. “This is his third sectional victory. He’s thrown 21 innings — and has given up three runs in those three games. The kid competes like crazy. He’s a great kid, a great teammate.
“The best thing about him is that we didn’t play the best defense behind him, but he battled, we made some key plays when we needed and it was a good victory for everybody.”
Newton loaded the bases again in the second and dented the scoreboard with a bloop RBI single from Noah Weaver and a bases-loaded walk by Cole Weaver. But Troy Christian pitcher Peyton Forrer again got out of the jam with the help of a double play as Rhett Gipe lined to second baseman Jon Slone, who doubled off the runner at first to end the inning with the Indians only up 2-0.
After Troy Christian had cut the lead to 2-1, Newton added a run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Gipe, but the Eagles threatened again in the top of the sixth by putting runners on second and third with two outs. But Jackson was able to buckle down and get a called third strike to get out of the inning — and then the Indians put it away in the bottom of the sixth.
An error, a walk and another error loaded the bases with no outs, and Nate Zielinski, Ryan Mollette and Cole Weaver drew back-to-back-to-back RBI walks to make it a 6-1 game. And with one out, Nelson Clymer put the exclamation point on the inning by hitting a two-run single back up the middle, and the Indians held a comfortable seven-run lead going into the final inning.
For Newton, Mollette was 2-for-2 with two walks, two runs and one RBI, Cole Weaver had two RBIs, Clymer was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Gipe and Nate Zielinski had one RBI each.
EATON — The Versailles baseball team cruised to an 11-1 win in five innings over Milton-Union in a D-III sectional championship game Wednesday.
The Tigers will play Cincinnati Country Day in the district finals at 5 p.m. Friday at Hamilton.
Versailles struck first in Wednesday’s game with four runs in the bottom half of the second inning. After Milton-Union scored its lone run in the top of the third, Versailles scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning then added five more in the fifth.
Versailles finished the game with 11 hits and one error while Milton-Union had three hits and two errors.
Cole Niekamp led Versailles offensively by going 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored. Keaton McEdowney was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, a RBI and two runs. Isaac Ruhenkamp was 2-for-2 with a double, a walk and a run. Kurtis Rutschilling was 2-for-3, was hit by a pitch, scored a run and drove in a run.
Noah Richard and Kyle Subler had two RBIs each.
Elliot Bruns pitched the complete game for Versailles, allowing one unearned run on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts.