- Gamers

Minford eases past Wellston, uses seven-run fourth to advance into district final

Brock Netter, Staff Writer

CHILLICOTHE — When it rains, it pours … literally.

After a hot start at the plate, a run-of-the-mill pitching performance from Ethan Lauder — and a 30-minute rain delay — Minford used a seven-run fourth inning to knock the doors off the hinges and, eventually, hand Wellston an 12-2 loss in a Division III district semifinal Thursday evening.

“It’s one thing to come and expect [to win]. We’ve expected that all season,” Minford coach Anthony Knittel said. “But I think we lost the hunger at one point. Today, that’s what you saw … a bunch of kids that are hungry to chase one dream and that’s to win a state championship.”

Wellston took full advantage of batting first and ripped three straight hits to open the game … the final hit being an RBI single from Chase Ingalls for a 1-0 lead.

Minford’s Ethan Lauder threw four innings and picked up the pitching win in Thursday’s 12-2 win over Wellston at VA Memorial Stadium.
CREDIT: Brock Netter/SOSA

Not to be outdone, Minford (27-1) responded in the form of an Elijah Vogelsong inside-the-park home run to give the Falcons a 2-1 lead after an inning.

But that was just the start of a long night for the Rockets.

After the Falcons tallied another run on a passed ball in the second, Darius Jordan launched a sacrifice fly to left field that pushed Minford’s lead to 4-1.

Matthew Risner then joined the fun in the fourth, lacing a two-run double to left field, and later scored on a passed ball for a 7-1 lead.

Two hitters later, Brayden Davis logged an RBI groundout, followed by an RBI single from Jordan, extending the score to 9-1.

The runs continued to come as Jordan scored on another passed ball before Ethan Lauder smacked an RBI single to left field, putting an end to a seven-run inning.

In the fourth, Luke Lindamood doubled before Risner knocked him in with an RBI single before the Rockets (14-12) rounded out the night’s final in the top half of the fifth.

Lindamood finished 2-for-2 with a double and a run, Risner was 1-for-2 with a double, a run and two RBIs, Jordan finished 1-for-2 with two RBIs, and Vogelsong ended the night 1-for-2 with the home run and two RBIs.

Lauder tossed four innings, allowed five hits and surrendered an earned run. He also helped himself, finishing 2-for-3 at the dish with an RBI.

For Wellston, Ingalls was 1-for-2 with an RBI while Frisby finished 2-for-3 with a triple and a run.

The Falcons advance to play the winner of Adena or Fairland in a Division III district final at 11 a.m., Saturday at VA Memorial Stadium.

“We just have to keep playing the game,” Knittel said. “It’s just a matter of relaxing and having fun, putting the pressure on, and I think we’ll be alright.”

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