MINFORD, Ohio — The tournament tune-up didn’t exactly go as planned.
The Meigs baseball team — which begins postseason play on Thursday — fell by a 4-3 count to non-conference host Minford, on Monday night in Scioto County, in a game that was a late addition to the schedule.
The Marauders (20-6) gained the early advantage in the top of the first inning, as Kaileb Sheets singled, advanced to second on a passed ball, and then scored on a Chase Whitlatch single.
The Falcons took the lead in the bottom of the second, as Alex Powell drove in Aron Alley, and Hayden Scott sacrificed home Michael Grasso.
Minford pushed its lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth, as Jared Alley scored on a Aron Alley single.
The Marauders broke their four-inning dry spell in the top of the sixth inning, as Chase Whitlatch singled and later scored. However, the hosts got the run right back in the bottom of the sixth, when Aron Alley scored on an error.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Meigs junior Cody Bartrum singled home Christian Mattox to bring the Marauders within one run. With the potential tying run on second base, the Falcons got the fly-out they needed to secure the 4-3 win.
Powell tossed six innings and earned the pitching victory for Minford, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits and three free passes. Matthew Gullett was credited with the save, surrendering one run on three hits in one inning of relief. Powell struck out two batters, while Gullett fanned one.
Whitlatch started on the mound and suffered the loss for Meigs, allowing two earned runs on two hits and two walks, in two innings. Mattox pitched the next two frames and allowed one earned run on two hits, while Bartrum pitched the final two innings and allowed one unearned run on two hits and one walk. Whitlatch had three strikeouts in the setback, Bartrum added two, while Mattox struck out one batter.
Whitlatch led Meigs at the plate, going 3-for-4 with one run scored, one RBI and one stolen base. Sheets was 2-for-4 with one run scored, Mattox singled once and scored once, Bartrum singled once and drove in one run, while Luke Musser added a single to the Marauder cause.
Jared Alley led the Falcon offense with one double, one single and one run scored, while Aron Alley singled once, scored twice and drove in one run. Grasso singled once and scored once, Powell added a single and an RBI, while Eli Daniels had one hit and Scott had one RBI.
Each team committed one error in the contest. The last time these teams met was in the 2015 Division II District Final, a game which the Marauders won 6-3.
Meigs — which is seeded second in the Division II tournament — will return home to face seventh-seeded Gallia Academy in Thursday’s sectional final.
Minford is the top-seed in the Division III tournament and will begin postseason play at home, on Saturday, against the winner of Portsmouth West and Huntington.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.
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