Flyers fall to Wildcats in district finals

Published 5:43 pm Monday, May 22, 2023

St. Joseph Flyers’ pitcher Drew Brown (left) collides with Whiteoak Wildcats baserunner Eli Roberts (8) at home plate during Monday’s Division 4 district championship game. Roberts scored in Whiteoaks’ 10-0 win. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photo for The Ironton Tribune)

By Jim Walker

CHILLICOTHE — There’s a reason the Whiteoak Wildcats are ranked No.1 in the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches poll.

Email newsletter signup

They’re good.

St. Joseph Flyers’ outfielder Matt Heighton fields a base hit during Monday’s Division 4 district championship game. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photo for The Ironton Tribune)

The Wildcats banged out 12 hits — all singles — en route to a 10-0 win over the St. Joseph Flyers on Monday to win the Division 4 district championship.

“They’re a good team and that pitcher was really good. They have a chance to win it all,” said Flyers’ coach Greg Bryant.

“We achieved more than a lot of people thought we would. We didn’t quit in any game including today. Our kids have shown a lot of character and battled in every game.”

Pitcher Luken Roades allowed one hit in the 5-inning run rule game. He struck out 9 and did not issue a walk.

The Flyers (18-8) only hit was a to-out single by Wesley Neal in the fourth inning. Neal was the Flyers lone baserunner.

Whiteoak (26-2) got a run in the first inning when Luken Roades got a fly ball single, stole second and scored on a one-out single by Carson Emery.

Neither team scored in the second inning but the calm changed to a storm in the bottom of the third when Whiteoak erupted for 6 runs to take a 7-0 lead.

With one out, Roades singled and Landon Barnett walked. Roades went to third on a passed ball and score on a sacrifice fly by Emery.

Barnett stole second and Nate Price singled him home and it was 3-0.

Ian Griffith walked and Eli Roberts singled home Price. Zander Roades then singled to make it 5-0.

With runners on the corner, Zander Roades went to second on defensive indifference and Roberts scored on a passed ball. David Donohoo then singled as Roades scored.

Brady “Quinn” Medinger came on in relief and got a pop-up to second for the final out.

The Wildcats added 2 more runs in the fourth to go up 9-0.

With one out, Barnett singled and stole second, Emery singled him to third base and then went to second on defensive indifference. Griffith then singled home both runners.

In the fifth, Donohoo got a one-out single, Combs walked and Luken Roades was hit by a pitch. Barnett lined out to shortstop Kai Coleman for the second out but Emery drew a walk on a full count and forced him Donohoo to end the game.

St. Joseph 000 00 = 0 1 0

Whiteoak 106 21 = 10 12 0

Drew Brown, Brady Medinger (3) and Evan Balestra. Luken Roades and Nate Price. W-Roades (IP-5.0, H-1, R-0, K-9, BB-0). L-Brown (IP-2.2, H-8, R-7, ER-7, K-3, BB-2). Medinger (IP-2.0, H-4, R-3, ER-3, K-2, BB-1). Hitting-St. Joseph: Wesley Neal 1-2; Whiteoak: Luken Roades 2-3, Landon Barnett 1-3, Carson Emery 2-3 3-RBI, Nate Price 1-3 RBI, Ian Griffith 1-2 2-RBI, Eli Roberts 2-3 RBI, Zander Roades 1-3 RBI, David Donohoo 2-3 RBI.