Game resumes today at 5 p.m. in Lancaster
By Brad Morris
Facing Lancaster ace Isaac Cooperrider in a Division I Central District sectional final on Wednesday, Teays Valley knew its chances would be limited and would have to be seized upon.
And Hayden Wells delivered.
Wells jumped on the first offering he saw in the third inning and lined a double to left that drove in Landen McFarland and Ben France, who reached earlier in the inning by working a pair of walks.
It was the only hit that Cooperrider yielded the Vikings in seven otherwise dominant innings, but the Vikings were equal to the task on the mound and the sectional final was suspended after 11 innings deadlocked at 2-2.
Action resumes today at 5 p.m. in the Fairfield County seat.
Of the 66 outs recorded in the first 11 innings between the Gales and Vikings, 34 were via strikeout as the arms largely dominated a cool Wednesday night.
Teays Valley senior Ben France received the start from coach Mark Colburn and checked the Gales to four hits, hit a batter and struck out six in four and two-third innings.
Lancaster (17-9) scored its pair of runs in the sixth that eventually forced extra innings.
Jackson Burke led off the home sixth with a single and Cooperrider singled to join him on the base pads. Hayden Allen followed and laid down a squeeze bunt to score Burke. Dylan Bird then hit a single to center that knocked in the tying run.
Lancaster had the winning run at third with two outs in the seventh, but Landon Vandegrift struck out Allen on three pitches to provide everyone in attendance some free baseball.
The Gales had the winning run at third with two outs in the 10th inning and again in the 11th, but Vandegrift coaxed a line out to left fielder Jeremiah Fabbro by Jacob Mowder and Brody Mann got Allen to line out to Fabbro again in the 11th.
Vandegrift tossed five innings of relief and allowed two hits, walked four, hit a batter and struck out sixth. Mann pitched a scoreless 11th, allowing a hit, walking a pair of batters and striking out a batter.
Cooperrider walked four, hit a batter and struck out 17 in his seven innings of work, only allowing Wells’ aforementioned two-run double. Darren Ramsey allowed a pair of hits, walked a batter and struck out four in four innings.
Lancaster has out-hit Teays Valley 10-3 but left an astounding 17 runners on base.
Fabbro and Matt Farmer each singled during extra innings for the Vikings (16-7).
The winner advances to a district semifinal on Tuesday at third-seeded Grove City (17-10), which blanked Logan 12-0 in five innings last night.