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Minerva baseball all alone in first place

By TODD REED News Leader Sports Editor Published: April 27, 2017 12:00 AM
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West Branch came into the week leading the Northeastern Buckeye Conference baseball standings with a perfect 6-0 record, one game better than Minerva (5-1).

Four days later, the Warriors found themselves in second place after two consecutive losses to the Lions.

Minerva scored seven runs in the second inning and cruised to a 12-4 win over host West Branch.

Jake Stewart had a base hit and three RBIs; Connor Wright singled and drove in two; Jack Hanley had three hits and an RBI; Dan Common had four hits and an RBI; Dakota Romano singled twice and scored three runs; and Evan Hertel went 2-for-2 with an RBI and run scored.

Wright went the distance to pick up the win. The junior allowed four earned runs on 11 hits and three walks, striking out six.

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Minerva 3

West Branch 2

Two days later, the two teams battled once again, with first-place on the line.

Minerva scored three runs in the third and one more in the fifth, and hung on for a 3-2 victory.

Romano was solid on the mound, allowing one earned run on four hits in five and 1/3 innings of work. Dominic Slentz came on in the sixth and recorded the last five outs for the save.

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The Lions made the most of their two hits a double by Common and a single by Romano. Hanley drove in two runs, and Romano, Hertel and Stewart each scored a run.

Minerva 10

St. Thomas 2

Hertel pitched well in the non-league contest, allowing two earned runs on five hits in six innings of work. Trey Carl pitched a scoreless seventh inning.

Offensively, Hanley went 2-for-5 with two RBIs; Wright had three hits, including a double, and two runs scored; Slentz singled and drove in two; and Stewart doubled, scored twice and drove in two.

South Range 3

Minerva 2

South Range rallied with two runs in the fifth and the game-winner in the sixth, snapping Minerva's 11-game winning streak.

Shane Walters had two hits and an RBI, Slentz had an RBI single, and Hanley and Croston each scored a run.

Slentz went the distance, giving up just one earned run on seven hits.

Minerva (13-3, 7-1) will host Alliance today (April 27); Tusky Valley on Friday, April 28; and Marlington on Tuesday, May 2.

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