South Range pulls away from United

Matt Morrison / Morning Journal South Range’s Luke Gehring is tagged out at the plate by United’s Wyatt Swanson on Monday in a Div. III district semifinal at Springfield Local High School.

NEW MIDDLETOWN — United’s baseball team had South Range in its sights, but the No. 4 seeded Raiders found a way to pull away for a 7-2 win on Monday in a Div. III district semifinal at Springfield Local High School.

“(Pitcher) Konnor (Brogan) kept us in the game no question,” South Range coach Jim Hanek said. “He (Konnor) got us off to a great start. (United) pushed a couple of across in the fourth inning then he was able to come back and put zeros up the remaining three innings.”

Brogan allowed two earned runs on two hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.

South Range improves to 19-8, while No. 8 seed United finishes its season at 15-10.

It was a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning when South Range’s Logan Baxter had his only hit of the day when he smacked a hard ground ball double to left field that scored Brennen Klasovsky and Ethan Viano to give the Raiders a 5-2 advantage.

Klasovksy finished the game with two hits, three runs scored and one RBI. Julian Tranovich had one hit, one run scored and an RBI.

United had the bats swinging early and tied the game at two in the fourth inning when Jason Pratt grounded out to second base which allowed Louden Stryffeler to score the tying run. The Eagle offense struggled from that point on.

“We kept trying to put the ball into play,” United coach Tim Hydrick said. “(South Range) just kept making the plays and hats off to them for that. We kept battling to the last out.”

Parker Newburn scored one run for the Golden Eagles.

Stryffeler started the game for United, allowing five earned runs on nine hits with five walks and nine strikeouts through 5 1/3 innings of work before being relieved by Parker Newburn in the sixth inning. Newburn had one strikeout in 2/3s of an inning.

Stryffeler, a senior, had struggles early on, but tried to keep his composure throughout the contest.

“I have been in bad situations before,” Stryffeler said. “I just had to keep throwing no matter what and not take my last game for granted.”

Hydrick wished South Range luck as it is going for its fourth consecutive district championship.

“South Range has everything they need,” Hydrick said. “They have two good pitchers and their kids put the ball in play, so they are going to be OK.”

United will be losing six seniors that includes Stryffeler, but has confidence in the group it has for next season.

“We have a very good sophomore class that we have coming back,” Hydrick said. “We will be okay.”

South Range will play No. 5 seed Garfield in the district championship at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Springfield Local High School. Garfield was a 4-3 winner over Chagrin Falls in the late district semifinal on Monday.

The Raiders did not play Garfield in the regular season but beat Chagrin Falls 3-0.

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