|Piketon plates four in home half of
the seventh to capture district title
Piketon entered the bottom of the seventh trailing Portsmouth 6-3 in Saturdayâ€™s
D-III District Championship at VA Memorial Stadium. The Redstreaks plated four
runs to win it 7-6 as they earn the right to head to Athens for next weekâ€™s
regional semifinal against Saint Clairsville.
The final frame started with Piketon bringing its top of the order to the plate.
Centerfielder Jared Vulgamore was hit by a pitch to start the rally. One out later,
Zach Farmer reached on an infield hit. Brice Bennett then delivered a hit of his own
with a line drive single to right field, and Corey Ferguson followed with a groundball
single back up the middle. All of a sudden, there was still only one out, the
Portsmouth lead had been trimmed to 6-5, and Bryce Robinson was coming to the
plate. Robinson delivered with an RBI double to tie the game at 6-6. Following a
pitching change, Piketonâ€™s Chaz Bowman was intentionally walked to setup a
force at the plate. Piketonâ€™s Shane Pack then produced the walk-off winner
when the third baseman lined a single to left to give the Redstreaks the
Entering the game, a big factor for Piketon was the fact that Farmer had only four
innings remaining on the mound. Coach Gene Bumgardner handed the ball to
Ferguson to start the game and the junior responded. Despite a misplayed fly ball in
the first inning, Ferguson allowed just two runs through three innings and Piketon
was leading 3-2. It appeared that would be it for Ferguson, but in fairness to the
starting pitcher he had thrown the ball well, and Farmer was on base in the bottom
of the third and unable to get loose.
Ferguson continued to throw well in the top of the fourth striking out the first batter
he faced, but then he was victim of poor defense once again. An outstanding pitch
that resulted in a groundball was misplayed, and then a fly ball hit over top the right
side of the infield found its way down as well. Ferguson induced an easy fly out to
second for the inningâ€™s second out. It appeared he would be able to pitch around
the errors, but Portsmouthâ€™s nine-hole hitter lined a triple into the right
centerfield gap scoring two runs to give Portsmouth a 4-3 lead.
The momentum seemed to continue as Piketon was retired in order in the bottom of
the order. Farmer did take the ball over the final three innings as the talented lefty
recorded all nine outs via the strikeout. Portsmouth did get to Farmer for an
insurance run when catcher Brennan Howard hammered a homerun to left in the top
of the fifth.
Momentum looked like it may shift in the bottom of the fifth, but Piketon left the
bases loaded when Robinson hammered a line drive right at a Portsmouth defender.
The Trojans played add-on in the seventh, and again it was Piketonâ€™s defense
that aided the Portsmouth scoring. Portsmouthâ€™s talented senior Josh Myers
reached base on a one-out walk. Farmer had Myers picked off, but as the rundown
started, the ball was thrown away allowing Myers to move into scoring position. He
would later score what seemed at the time to be the final dagger in Piketonâ€™s
On the day Piketon out hit Portsmouth 9-6 as Bennett had three hits and a pair of
RBIs while Ferguson had two hits of his own to drive in a pair as well. The win
improves Piketon to 15-9 on the season.
Thursday, May 26th
@ Ohio University in Athens
Division III Regional Semifinal
WKKJ will have the game
with an airtime of 3:40