RACINE, Ohio — What a difference a week makes.
After suffering six straight losses by a combined 58-7 margin to start the season, the Southern baseball team has now outscored opponents 28-2 in consecutive victories following an 11-2 decision over visiting Belpre Tuesday night in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup at Star Mill Park in Meigs County.
The Tornadoes (2-6, 2-3 TVC Hocking) trailed 1-0 after a half-inning of play, but the hosts rallied with four runs in the home half of the first while establishing a lead they would never relinquish.
The Golden Eagles (3-4, 3-3) cut the deficit in half with a run in the top of the fourth, but SHS countered with seven unanswered scores the rest of the way — allowing the Purple and Gold to wrap up the nine-run triumph.
Southern starter Trey Pickens was nearly masterful in his complete-game triumph, allowing zero earned runs and only four hits and walk over seven innings while striking out a dozen.
The Tornadoes outhit the guests by a 12-4 overall margin and committed three erros in the contest, but the Golden Eagles also had their share of woes with nine errors in the game — including three during the four-run first and four more during a five-run bottom of the sixth.
Blake Johnson led Southern with four hits, followed by Dylan Smith, Billy Harmon and Clayton Wood with two safeties apiece. Pickens and Haden Miller also had a hit each for the hosts.
Pickens scored a team-high three runs, while Wood and Johnson each scored twice in the triumph.
Sprague suffered the loss for BHS after walking one and striking out six in six innings of work. Gilbert led the guests with two safeties, while Sprague and Tullius each added a hit in the setback.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.