MASON, W. Va. — Time and again on Wednesday, the Wahama White Falcons withstood the wrath of the visiting Tornadoes.
As a result, the White Falcons’ Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division baseball championship dreams remain intact.
Wahama pitcher Mason Hicks stranded 13 Southern baserunners, and the White Falcons finished off the Tornadoes with a pair of three-run innings en route to defeating Southern 7-1 at J.C. Cook Field.
Wahama scored once in its opening at-bat, then Southern scored in the top of the second stanza for the 1-1 tie.
However, Hicks — although he kept Tornadoes on the bases — more importantly he kept them off the scoreboard.
The White Falcons then forged leads of 4-1 after four and 7-1 after six, combining only three hits over those two innings — despite the three-run spots.
With the win, Wahama — the defending division co-champion last season — remains undefeated in and atop the TVC-Hocking at 11-0.
The White Falcons are now 12-2, as Southern slipped to 7-10 — and 6-5 in the TVC-Hocking.
Hicks, despite allowing eight hits and four walks, struck out a hefty 12 Tornadoes in gaining the complete-game win.
Southern’s second-inning run — which was unearned — was the result of a leadoff walk to Billy Harmon, who advanced to second on an error and scored on a two-out single by Dylan Smith.
Hicks struck out the Tornadoes for three outs in the first, second, fourth and fifth frames, although he never retired the side 1-2-3.
He faced four batters apiece in the third and seventh, as seven of the 13 stranded Tornadoes were left in scoring position.
Southern stranded runners on the corners in the first, runners at first and second in the second and sixth, runners at second and third in the fourth, and even the bases loaded in the fifth.
Wahama, meanwhile, was able to cross six unearned runs off two Tornado pitchers.
Trey Pickens started and worked the opening four-and-a-third, allowing four runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Clayton Wood relieved him for the final one-and-a-third, giving up three unearned runs in the sixth.
The White Falcons’ first run was earned, as Philip Hoffman singled with two outs, stole second, and then scored on an RBI-single by Hicks.
Wahama sent eight batters to the plate against Pickens in the fourth, combining an error, a passed ball, two fielder’s choices, two walks and two hits for its three runs.
Again with two outs, the White Falcons struck when Colton Arrington — on his second single of the day — drove in two for the 4-1 lead.
Finally, Wahama did even more damage with two outs in the sixth against Wood.
This time, it combined a dropped third strike, a walk, another error and finally a Hoffman two-run triple to right-field for the 7-1 advantage.
Jared Oliver in the second, Ricky Kearns in the third, Dalton Kearns in the fourth and Tyler Grimm in the fifth accounted for the other Wahama hits.
Smith singled three times to pace Southern, as Blake Johnson singled twice, while Wood, Logan Drummer and Wesley Clark all singled once.
Wahama hosted Mason County rival Point Pleasant in a non-league tilt on Thursday night, then returns to TVC-Hocking action today with an important bout at Waterford.
Waterford (10-3), along with Trimble (7-3) and Eastern (8-3), all had three league losses entering today.
Southern returns to the road, and returns to TVC-Hocking play, today at South Gallia.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106