ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — The Marauders sure seemed eager to start the postseason and happy to be home.
The sixth-seeded Meigs baseball team scored four times in the opening inning of Wednesday’s Division III sectional semifinal in Meigs County, and the Marauders cruised to a 6-2 victory over No. 11 seed Southeastern in their first home game since April 20.
Meigs (8-11) held the Panthers off the board in the top of the first inning, with MHS left fielder Wyatt Hoover throwing a runner out at the plate for the third out of the frame.
The Marauders began the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles by Cole Arnott and Briar Wolfe, followed by a one-run double by Zach Helton and a one-run single by Zayne Wolfe. Helton came around to score on a Wesley Smith sac-bunt, and then Zayne Wolfe scored on a two-out bases loaded walk, making the MHS lead 4-0.
The Marauders stranded two runners in scoring position in the following inning, and Southeastern broke through for two runs on two hits in the top of the third.
The Panthers made it into scoring position again in the fourth and sixth innings, but never broke through.
Meigs snapped a three-inning scoreless drought in the bottom of the fifth, as Wyatt Hoover’s two-run double capped off the 6-2 win.
“The first inning was really big for us,” Marauders head coach Brent Bissell said. “It’s hard to win that first tournament game, so credit to our kids, they did a good job. Pitching-wise Zayne (Wolfe) and Zach (Helton) did a nice job for us. Southeastern has a nice ball club, so I knew they’d play the way you’re supposed to play. I can’t say enough for our four seniors playing tonight, they’re our leaders.”
Zayne Wolfe earned the pitching victory in four innings on the mound for Meigs, allowing two runs on six hits. Helton earned a save in three shut out innings, striking out five, while allowing one hit. Neither Marauder pitcher walked a batter.
Wheeler took the loss in 2.2 innings for the guests, surrendering four runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out one.
Leading Meigs at the plate, Helton was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI, while Brentten Young and Briar Wolfe were both 2-for-4, with Wolfe scoring once. Smith and Zayne Wolfe both singled once, scored once and drove in a run, Hoover singled once and drove in three, Arnott singled once and scored once, while Cory Cox crossed home plate once.
Hartman led the guests, going 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Wheeler and Gillum both singled once and scored once.
The Maroon and Gold committed three errors and left nine runners on base, while the Blue and White had one error and six runners stranded.
Meigs moves on to Saturday’s sectional final at No. 3 seed South Point.
“They play in a good conference, in the OVC with Gallia Academy,” Bissell said. “These next two days of practice we’ll work hard and get ready. There are a couple things we need to work on from tonight, and we’ll see what we can do on Saturday. All I ask from the kids is to do the best you can.”
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.