TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — Never a doubt.
The top-seeded Eastern baseball team rolled to an 11-0 mercy rule victory over eighth-seeded Federal Hocking in the Division IV sectional final on Tuesday in Meigs County.
Eastern (24-2) — which has now won four consecutive sectional titles — went up 4-0 in the opening inning, as Nate Durst scored on an error, Kaleb Hill drove in Ethen Richmond, and then Josh Brewer doubled home Hill and Matthew Blanchard.
The Eagles were held off the board in the second, but struck for three runs in the third, as Hill singled home Austin Coleman, then Richmond scored on a Blanchard sac-fly, and finally Brewer singled home Hill.
In the fourth inning, Hill, Blanchard, Christian Mattox and Isaac Nottingham scored for EHS, pushing the lead to 11-0.
The first 11 Lancers were retired in order, and the Maroon and Gold stranded a runner on first in the top of the fourth. FHHS loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth, but back-to-back strikeouts, followed by a groundout sealed Eastern’s 11-0 win.
Eastern now has 21 sectional titles in program history, winning 13 in the last 14 seasons.
Coleman earned the pitching victory in a complete game for EHS, striking out seven batters, while allowing four hits.
Bond took the loss in two innings for Federal Hocking, giving up six runs on five hits and two walks.
Brewer led the Eagles at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double and four runs batted in. Coleman was 2-for-3 with a double, a run and an RBI, Hill was 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs, while Blanchard doubled once, scored twice and drove in two runs.
Richmond singled once and scored twice for EHS, Durst and Nottingham both singled once and scored once, while Owen Arix contributed a single and Mattox scored a run.
Miller doubled once for the guests, while Reed, Lopez and Brown each singled once.
There were no errors in the contest, and both teams stranded three runners on base.
EHS swept the Lancers in the regular season, winning 14-2 in Stewart on April 2, and 12-2 at home on May 3.
Eastern advances to the Division IV district final against fourth-seeded Fairfield on Monday at Chillicothe’s VA Memorial Stadium. The Lions defeated fifth-seeded Coal Grove by a 5-3 clip in Tuesday’s sectional final.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.
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