Chesapeake wins in effort to finish 2nd in OVC race

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 14, 2003

PROCTORVILLE - Justin Finley had the long and short of it.

First, Finley hit a home run to tie the game. Next, he put down a squeeze bunt that drove home the winning run as the Chesapeake Panthers beat the River Valley Raiders 5-4 in eight innings Tuesday.

"Finley has had a pretty good season. It was nice to see him come through for us," Panthers coach Joe Waugh said.

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With the win the Panthers complete play in the Ohio Valley Conference at 6-4 and could finish tied for second in the league with Coal Grove if the Hornets lose Wednesday to Rock Hill.

Chesapeake ends the season 9-9 overall.

"It means a lot to have a shot at second place," Waugh said. "It's a step in the right direction for the program. It's been a while since we've won the conference, so it was nice to be in contention. With the kids we have back, we have a pretty good nucleus."

River Valley scored first with a run in the first inning.

Hollanbaugh was safe on a missed third strike, moved to second on a passed ball, and came home when Yost doubled.

The lead went to 2-0 in the third when Graham walked, Schaltz singled, a passed ball moved the runners up, and Spaulding had an RBI single.

P. J. Rase singled and Finley slammed a two-run homer to tie the game in the fifth inning.

Each team scored twice in the seventh.

Schaltz and Yost were hit by pitches, moved up on a passed ball, and scored on a two-run single by Spaulding.

The Panthers then forced extra innings with a clutch rally.

Finley singled to open the inning. Brandon Eldred was safe on an error, and a passed ball put both runners in scoring position.

Brandon Ridenour hit into a fielder's choice as Finley scored, and Matt Rucker reached on an error as Eldred scored.

The Panthers pushed across the winning run in the eighth.

Daniel Thompson was safe on an error, Rase singled him to third on a hit-and-run, and Finley put down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to score Thompson with the winning run.

"Finley hit it hard enough to get it by the pitcher and they weren't even able to make a play on it," Waugh said.

Rase went the distance to get the win. He struck out 12, walked two and allowed six hits.

Finley was 3-5 and Rase 2-5 as Chesapeake collected seven hits.

River Valley10100020-463


No one out when winning run scored.

Ward and Thompson. P. J. Rase and Justin Finley. W-Rase (12-K, 2-W). L-Ward (8-K, 2-W). 2B-RV: Yost. HR-Chesapeake: Justin Finley. Hitting-River Valley: Hollanbaugh 1-4, Schaltz 1-3, Yost 1-2, Spaulding 2-3, Eddy 1-4; Chesapeake: P. J. Rase 2-5, Justin Finley 3-5, Bobby Evans 1-4, Nick Karle 1-4.