Stakes are high as Dragons, Trojans meet in regional semifinals

Published 12:42 am Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Fairland Dragons Ben Southard (25) slides into second base safely during a game earlier this season at Ironton. The Dragons play Portsmouth at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Division 3 regional semifinals at Ohio University. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tribune)


PROCTORVILLE — It’s the rubber match and the stakes are high.

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The Fairland Dragons and Portsmouth Trojans will meet for the third time this season with the teams splitting the previous meetings.

But this time the meeting will be at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Division 3 Regional Semifinals at Ohio University with the winner advancing to the regional finals and a chance to make the state tournament.

The other regional game has Barnesville against Minford.

Fairland is 14-14 on the season and plays Ohio Valley Conference champion Portsmouth who is 23-6 on the season.

In an effort to remain sharp during the layoff from last Wednesday’s district title game 5-4 win over Huntington Ross, the Dragons were scheduled to play Eastern Meigs on Monday and Cabell Midland (W.Va.) on Tuesday.

Fairland and Portsmouth split their regular season games. Portsmouth won  14-6 on April 3 and Fairland got its revenge on April 19 with a 3-1 win.

Portsmouth is 23-6 and beat Southeastern 2-0 in the district semifinals and Lynchburg-Clay 6-5 in the title game.

In the first meeting, Fairland used the combined efforts of Kaden Wiseman and Alex Morgan on the mound while the Trojans went with Jacob Roth and Deandre Berry.

Fairland had 8 hits in the game with Brycen Hunt going 4-4 with a home run.

Portsmouth had 14 hits with Roth and J.T. Williams each 3-5.

In the second meeting, Hunt threw a complete game 5-hitter with 12 strikeouts and 2 walks.

Trevin Brooks went for the Trojans and gave up 4 hits, struck out 5 and walked 5.

Garrett Cornwell was 1-3 with 2 RBI for the Dragons and Ben Southard 1-2 with an RBI.

Camron Williams was 1-3 with an RBI for Portsmouth.

On the season, Ethan Wall leads the team with a .400 batting average. Hunt is next at .354 and Morgan hits at a .312 clip.

Wall and Blaze Perry had 2 home runs each and Hunt one. Perry and Luke Brown hav 16 RBI each and Wall 15.

Hunt has 29 hits, Wall 28 and Morgan 24. Hunt also had 21 stolen bases, Keegan Smith 13 and Ben Southard 12.

In pitching, Hunt is 4-3, Wall 4-4 and Morgan 3-1. Hunt has 74 strikeouts in 42.2 innings while Wall has 59 in 50.2 innings.

Cornwell leads the team with a 2.21 earned run average, Wall 2.76 and Hunt 2.95.

Portsmouth’s top hitter is J.T. Williams with a .467 average followed by Malachi Loper at .422 and Roth .420.

Williams also had 32 stolen bases, Loper 21 and Nathaniel Berry 18.

Trevin Brooks leads with 13 home runs and 45 RBI. Colin Perry had 24 RBI and Zach Roth 22.

Leelind Scurlock is 6-0 on the season, Jacob Roth 3-0, Brooks 3-2 and Deandre Berry 4-3. Scurlock has a 1.45 earned run average, Roth 2.67, Brooks 2.41 and Berry 3.07.

Strikeout leaders are relatively close. Berry had 45, Scurlock 44, with Roth and Brooks 34 each.