WATERFORD, Ohio — The Tornadoes dug a hole they just couldn’t get out of.
The Southern baseball team allowed Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Waterford to score seven runs in the first two innings, and the Wildcats cruised to a 8-3 win, on Tuesday night in Washington County.
Waterford (7-3, 7-1 TVC Hocking) combined four hits with one error and one walk to take a 4-0 lead after one inning of play. Southern (3-7, 3-4) cut the deficit in half in the top of the second inning, as Billy Harmon doubled home Clayton Wood and later came around to score.
WHS expanded the lead to 7-2 after scoring three runs on four hits and one error in the bottom of the second inning. SHS junior Trey Pickens doubled home Logan Drummer in the top of the third inning, as the Tornadoes cut the deficit to 7-3.
The Green and White were held scoreless for three straight frames, but they added one run in the sixth inning after a pair of Southern errors. The Tornadoes had just one base runner in the final four innings, as Waterford capped off the 8-3 win.
Alex Branham earned the pitching victory for the hosts, striking out four, while allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits and three walks in a complete game effort.
Wood suffered the loss on the mound for the Purple and Gold, striking out seven, while giving up eight runs, two earned, on 11 hits and one walk in six innings.
Pickens led the SHS offense, going 2-for-3 with one double, one single and one RBI, while Harmon was 1-for-3 with one double, one RBI, one run scored and one stolen base. Wood singled once and scored once in the setback, while Dylan Smith singled once and Drummer scored once.
Waterford’s offense was led by Braden Bellville and Clay Hayes, both of whom went 3-for-4 with three singles, one run scored and one RBI. Cameron Bosner went 2-for-2 with one double, one single, one run scored and one RBI, Isaac Huffman was 2-for-4 with two singles and two runs scored, Noah Huffman was 1-for-3 with a single and one RBI, while Bryce Hilverding scored twice and Riley Burns had two RBI.
Southern had four errors and four runners left on base in the setback, while Waterford had one error and six runners left on base.
The Tornadoes will look for redemption on April 29, when these teams are scheduled to meet at Star Mill Park.
The Purple and Gold return to the diamond on Thursday, when Belpre hosts SHS in a TVC Hocking showdown. Southern defeated the Golden Eagles 11-2 on April 5, in Racine.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.