PHOTO | Boothe Davis Captured by the Moment
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
MASON Ethan Barnitz hit a home run, scored four times while Logan Roach had two hits, scored three times and Aaron Henry drove in three runs to lead third-ranked Wahama to a 10-0 six inning win over fourth-ranked Man in game one of the best of three Class A Region 4 championship series Monday evening at Clafin Stadium.
Wahama is one win away from advancing to the state tournament for the eighth time in school history and first time since winning the Class A state championship in 2016.
The White Falcons can wrap up the Region 4 championship with a win at Man’s William “Tootie” Carter Field on Tuesday, but a win by the Hillbillies would force a decisive third game Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. at Clafin Stadium.
Zachary Fields, Bryce Zuspan and Trey Ohlinger combined to toss a one-hit shutout. Jace Adkins’ leadoff single in the first inning was the only hit of the contest for Man.
Fields, the White Falcons starting pitcher, allowed one hit in four innings striking out four and walking two. Fields left the game after throwing 49 pitches and would be available Wednesday should Man force a decisive third game.
Zuspan walked one batter in 1 2/3 innings and threw just 30 pitches and is eligible to throw Tuesday should Wahama coach Billy Zuspan need him. Ohlinger needed just one pitch to retire the only batter he faced in the sixth.
Wahama got on the board with two runs in the first inning. Man starter Bo Thompson hit Barnitz with the first pitch of the inning. Barnitz came around to score on Logan Roach’s double to center field to give the White Falcons a 1-0 lead.
Caleb Blevins took over for Thompson on the mound after the junior threw just five pitches.
Roach moved up to third on Ethan Gray’s groundout and scored on an error to give Wahama a 2-0 lead after one inning.
The White Falcons plated four runs in the third inning. Roach singled to score Barnitz making it 3-0 and two batters later, Roach and Gray scored on an error giving the White Falcons a 5-0 lead.
The final run of the inning came across on Zuspan’s single scoring Ohlinger to make it 6-0 White Falcons after three complete.
Barnitz’ solo home run leading off the bottom of the fourth extended Wahama’s advantage to 7-0.
Aaron Henry’s two-run single in the fifth plated Barnitz and Roach increasing the lead to 9-0 after five innings.
The White Falcons put the game away in the sixth when Lloyd reached on a double with two outs and scored on Nathan Fields walk off mercy-rule single for the 10-0 victory.
Fields, Gray and Zuspan each had one hit and one RBI for Wahama while Hayden Lloyd and Ohlinger each had two hits for Wahama.
Thompson suffered his second loss of the season for Man and saw his record fall to 8-2. He faced just two hitters, hitting one and allowing one run on one hit. Blevins allowed five runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking two in 3 1/3 innings. Caleb Vance allowed three runs, one earned, on four hits while striking out four, hit two and walked one in 2 1/3 innings.
Preston Blankenship, Colton Miller and Vance each drew a walk for Man, who had just four base runners.
Wahama improves to 24-5 with the victory while Man falls to 20-10 with the loss.