NORTH LEWISBURG – Triad scored 10 runs with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning and Shane Ford threw a no-hitter to beat Houston, 10-0, in five innings of Division IV sectional baseball on Wednesday.
The Cardinals started the game a little sluggishly. There wasn’t much energy in the dugout and the bats weren’t awake, either.
That all changed in the fourth inning, when Trevor Instine managed to get on with a two-out hit to provide a little life. Noah Unger drove him in with a rocket that drew first blood, and life returned to the bench.
“It was just an overall exciting point in this ballgame, but in general, somebody has stepped up all year,” Triad Coach Gary Davis said.
From there, it was all Cardinals, as they batted around in the inning with two outs. Dustin Bruce even officially stole home with the bases loaded when everyone mistook the count and all three runners advanced on a 3-2 pitch that “walked” Isaiah Bruce.
The batter was told to return to the box, but the runners’ advances were maintained after a discussion.
A pitching change, a few walks and about 40 minutes later, Triad had put 10 runs on the board and turned the ball back over to its standout pitcher.
“That’s a character builder, in my mind,” Davis said. “When you rally together 10 runs to put a team away, that says a lot.”
Meanwhile, Ford had been stretching and trying to stay loose in the dugout. Not in the lineup due to a pulled muscle, Ford had kept the Houston offense under wraps for the entire game and even struck out the side in the second inning.
He finished the visitors in order in the fifth, completing a no-hit shutout.
“Just outstanding. He manipulated all the batters and just owned the plate and did everything he could to propel these guys,” Davis said.
For the game, Unger was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and Alec Ober was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI. Instine, Isaiah Bruce and Austin Bails each had an RBI.
Triad advances to play in the sectional final against Fort Loramie at Piqua’s Hardman Park next Wednesday at 5 p.m., but may pick up a contest or a scrimmage in the interim to stay sharp.
Triad softball falls
ARCANUM – Arcanum knocked off Triad, 8-6, in Division III sectional softball on Wednesday.
For the Cardinals (15-13), Maddi Collier took the loss, Abby Ehrenborg was 2-for-3 with a double and home run, Madison Dolby was 3-for-5 with a homer and Ali Dixon was 3-for-5 with a double.
West Liberty-Salem cruises
WEST LIBERTY – West Liberty-Salem defeated Anna, 10-0, in Division III sectional softball on Wednesday.
For the Tigers (19-5), Kelsey Day earned the win, Kenedie Cox was 3-for-4 with a double and 4 stolen bases and Olivia Ames was 2-for-3 with 3 RBI.
The Tigers advance to play Indian Lake at Northmont High School on Monday at 5 p.m.
M’burg baseball loses
SIDNEY – Top-seeded Lehman Catholic blanked Mechanicsburg, 8-0, in Division IV sectional baseball on Wednesday.
The Indians were able to put some runners in scoring position, but failed to scratch any runs across the plate.
“It was just one of those games where we had opportunities early. If we had capitalized on that, who knows where we would have ended up?” MHS Coach Bryan Eyink said. “We had a few defensive miscues that cost us and timely hitting was just a big factor.”
Caleb Newsome was 1-for-3 with a double and Corey Bogan was 1-for-3 with a double for the Indians. Bogan also fanned 8 batters across three-and-two-thirds innings on the mound.
The Indians finish the season 13-9-1 overall.
Graham baseball falls
Tecumseh beat Graham, 11-4, in baseball action on Wednesday.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.