South Range falls to Windham
The Raiders were bounced in the district final 4-3.
By PAUL TRGOVAC
STRUTHERS -- Windham High scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat South Range 4-3 for the Division IV district baseball championship Wednesday at Cene Park.
The Bombers (14-6) advance to a regional semifinal next Friday in Elyria. Windham will face the winner of the Akron district at 5 p.m.
In the sixth, South Range's Jeff Johnston hit a solo home run to snap a 2-2 tie, but Windham's Rick Viebranz hit a two-out home run that tied the game at 3-3.
Then the Bombers scored what turned out to be the winning run when Zack Burns doubled and stole third base and, after a walk to Bryan Stanley, scored on a wild pitch.
Relief: In the seventh, Windham's Davidjohn McClurg, who pitched a shutout against Jackson-Milton on Tuesday, came on in relief of James Lade.
The first batter for South Range (18-7), George Rohan, reached base on an error and moved to second on a sacrifice by Jimmy Sanders.
Following a strikeout, Brad Johnson was hit by a pitch. Johnston worked the count to 1-1, but following the next pitch, a called strike, argued with the umpire and was ejected.
McClurg struck out the replacement batter.
From the coach: "I told Johnston that you have look at all the plays we didn't make tonight, not just his one mistake," said South Range coach Dan Szolek.
"We have had a great season. We won more games and advanced farther in the tournament then any other South Range baseball team.
"The loss isn't as hard on me as it is on the kids. The great thing is that our whole team is back next year," said Szolek.
Hitting streak: Windham's Tony Marstiller had a double and single and went 6-for-6 in the two district games.
Jason King and Bobby Miller finished with two hits apiece. Miller took the loss for the Raiders, despite allowing only five hits, while striking out four and walking two.
James Lade (8-0) got the victory and McClurg got a save.
"I knew it was going to be a tough game," said Windham coach Jerry Kiser. "Everyone I had talked to told me how tough a team South Range was.
"This is my first district title as a head coach and I am really going to enjoy it until next Friday when we play in the regional."