Flyers rally by Western, clinch share of SOC title

Published 10:28 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

By Jim Walker

LATHAM — There’s one important factor about winning ugly.

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It’s still winning.

And getting this win made for a pretty scene as the St. Joseph Flyers left their A-game at home but managed to rally for a 14-12 win over the Western Indians on Tuesday and clinched at least a share of the Southern Ohio Conference.

The Flyers are 16-5 overall and finish 12-2 in the SOC. Portsmouth Notre Dame blanked Green 5-0 and the Titans are now 10-2 with Western and Portsmouth Clay remaining to play in the league.

The Flyers beat Western 13-3 earlier in the season and head coach Greg Bryant said that played a part in the team’s performance on the road

“We beat them last time and we looked flat emotionally today,” said Bryant. “But the kids dug deep and found a way to win. Our guys have been able to flip the switch when they’re down and battle back. They did that today in a big way.”

Western led 7-3 after 4 innings before the Flyers scored 5 in the fifth to take the lead. Western tied the game in the bottom of the inning but the Flyers outscored Western 6-4 in the seventh inning to get the win.

“A week ago it looked like we hd no chance. But our kids kept playing hard and they’ve been rewarded with at least a share of the title. Winning the league was our goal at the start of the season. I’m really proud of this team’s moxie and work ethic,” said Bryant.

Western took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a single, a walk, an RBI hit by Logan Thompson and a throwing error.

St. Joseph took a brief lead with 3 runs in the second.

Drew Brown reach on an error, Mark Hodges singled and they moved up on stolen bases. Wesley Neal grounded was safe on a fielder’s choice as Brown scored and Hodges went to third.

Matthew Heighton squeezed a run home and Neal scored on a passed ball.

Western went back in front 6-3 in the bottom of the inning on 2 walks, a hit batsman, and RBI single by Jagger Grooms, a 2-run double by Chase Carter and another RBI single by Thompson.

Singles by Carter, Wyatt Henderson and Josh Brewster all singled for a run in the fourth.

The Flyers then rallied in the fifth with one out.

Brady “Quinn” Medinger and Brown singled to put runners on the corners. Hodges singled home Brown, Brown was hit by a pitch, Hunter Staton walked and Hodges scored on a passed ball.

Heighton was safe on an error was 2 runs scored.

Western tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a singles stolen base and single.

In the top of the seventh, Neal, Staton and Heighton all walked and Rowe was hit by a pitch for a run.

Kai Coleman walked for a run, Medinger was hit by a pitch for a run, Evan Balestra  sacrificed a run. Home and Rowe scored on an error. Brown then sacrificed a run home and it was 14-8.

Western used 2 hit batsmen, a single by Grooms, a passed ball, and singles by Thompson and Henderson and another passed ball.

The Flyers had only 4 hits with Hodges going 2-4 with an RBI and both Medinger and Brown were 1-4 with an RBI.

However, the Flyers were the beneficiaries of 9 walks, 3 hit batsmen and 8 errors.

Coleman got the win in relief.

St. Joseph 030 050 6 = 14 4 1

Western    240 110 4 = 12 16 8

Drew Brown, Kai Coleman (6) and Evan Balesgtra, Wesley Neal (6). Wyatt Henderson, Josh Brewster (4), Chase Carter (6), Logan Lightle (7) and L Thompson, C Knauff (7). W-Coleman (IP-1.1, H-3, R-4, ER-3, K-0, BB-0, HBP-2). Brown (IP-5.2,H-13, R-8, ER-8, K-6, BB-4, HBP-). L-Carter (IP-1.0, H-0, R-5, ER-3, K-2, BB-3, HBP-1, WP-2). Henderson (IP-3.0, H-1, R-3, ER-1, K-5, BB-2, Balk-1). Brewster (IP-2.0, H-3, R-5, ER-3, K-2, BB-3, HBP-2). Lightle (IP-1.0, H-0, R-1, ER-1, K-1, BB-1). Hitting-St. Joseph: Kai Coleman RBI, Brady “Quinn” Medinger 1-4 RBI, Evan Balestra RBI, Drew Brown 1-4 RBI, Mark Hodges 2-4 RBI, Wesley Neal RBI, Matt Heighton RBI, Landon Rowe RBI; Western: N Lightle 2-3, Jagger Grooms 2-4 2-RBI, M Bennett 1-3, Chase Carter 2-5 2B 3-RBI, Logan Thompson 4-5 3-RBI, Wyatt Henderson 2-4 RBI, Josh Brewster 1-5 RBI, Logan Lightle 2-4.