South all-stars fall to North, 7-1
CHILLICOTHE - Randy Wise came for the game. He left with the hardware.
Wise, a junior for the Coal Grove Hornets, pitched two scoreless innings that included two strikeouts, a walk and no hits. His efforts earned him the South Division I and III All-Star team's Most Valuable Player award.
"I was shocked, very shocked," Wise said of his selection. "But it was great. I hope to come back next year."
Despite Wise's effort, the South All-Stars lost 7-1 to the North in the Southeast District Baseball Coaches All-Star Game Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Seven local players participated in the game including Coal Grove's Nick Bazell who played for the North All-Stars who were in need of a second catcher.
Wise faced Bazell and enticed his teammate to pop up to second base.
"I was hoping to strike him out for bragging rights," Wise said.
Playing for the South were Greg Linn and Dustin Preston of Ironton, Adam Fuller of Fairland and Dale Kinney and Justin Smith of South Point.
The North took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on hits by Joe Morris of Westfall and David Loel of Adena, a sacrifice fly by Nick Springer of Federal Hocking and a double by Cory White of Unioto.
The South got within 2-1 with a run in the third inning.
Smith doubled to start the inning, went to third on a ground out by Minford's Haydn Zeis and scored on a base hit by Wade Roush of Lynchburg Clay.
But the South only threatened on three other occasions.
Roush doubled with two outs in the fourth inning only to be left stranded.
In the seventh, Kinney singled with one out and Wise drew a walk. But the next two batters hit fly balls to right field to end the inning.
Preston singled in the ninth inning, went to second base on a wild pitch and took third on a ground out.
However, Preston was thrown out at home trying to score on a pitch that bounced away from Bazell who quickly ran down the loose ball and threw to pitcher Cory White for the putout.
Preston began the game at catcher, moved to first base for the first time in his career, sat out four innings and returned in the ninth inning to catch teammate Linn.
"I was a little tight coming back in," Preston said.
Linn pitched a perfect ninth inning including a double play ball.
"They're all good hitters so I just tried to mix things up," Linn said.
The North scored twice in the fourth inning on walks to Springer and Cory Cottrell, a ground out and Jordan Thornhill's two-run single.
Three runs scored in the fifth inning to make it 7-1.
With one out, Morris double and Loel singled for a run. Springer singled with Loel going to third base and a passed ball scored the run. Cottrell singled home the final run.
Fuller, who played catcher for Fairland, also found himself at a different position as he spent part of the game in left field.
"That was the first time I've ever played out there," said Fuller who is a catcher for Fairland. "I was kind of nervous because I've never been out there. It was fun."
Steven Wagner, Cody Lawhorn (2), Cory Cottrell (5), Nathan Eschabaugh (7), Cory White (8) and Jordan Thornhill, Nick Bazell (6). Wade Roush, Brad Barnhart (3), Kevin Hoover (5), Randy Wise (6), Justin Smith (8), Greg Linn (9) and Dustin Preston, Dale Kinney (3), Adam Fuller (6), Dustin Preston (9). W-Lawhorn. L-Roush. SB-North: Joe Morris; South: Haydn Zeis. 2B-North: Cory White,Joe Morris; South: Wade Roush, Justin Smith. SF-North: Nick Springer. Hitting-North: Joe Morris 2-4 (BB), Jordan Thornhill 1-3 (2 RBI), Cory Cottrel 1-2 (BB), David Loel 2-3, Nick Springer 1-1 (SF, 2 BB, RBI), Cory White 1-3; South: Brandon Barnhart 1-2 (BB, RBI), Dustin Preston 1-2 (HBP), Dale Kinney 1-3, Justin Smith 1-2, John Angel 1-3, Wade Roush 1-3 (BB).
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