WHEELERSBURG - The Wheelersburg Pirates scored four runs in the top of the first inning on Saturday afternoon and went on to defeat the Oak Hill Oaks 10-5 in the Division III sectional championship game.
The Pirates extend their lead to 9-0 before the Oaks scored five runs in the top of the sixth to make things interesting.
At that point, Oak Hill had the bases loaded with the tying run at the plate before Kaden Coleman came in to get the final out of the inning on a harmless pop-up to the first baseman.
Just prior to the Oaks' big frame, Wheelersburg elected to replace all but one of its starters, including starting pitcher Coleman, who had allowed just five Oak Hill hits through five innings.
The move almost proved to be a costly one, as the second unit committed three errors and Oak Hill got three of their eight hits for the game in the inning.
The Pirates scored four times in the bottom of the opening frame sending 10 batters to the plate against starter and eventual loser Shane Spriggs.
Trey Carter and Jalen Miller opened the inning with back-to-back singles before Spriggs got the first out on a fly ball to center.
Unfortunately, Cole Darnell and Coleman followed with doubles, as Darnell's two-bagger plated Carter and Miller.
Coleman's hit scored Darnell, and Coleman came in on a single by Conner Mullins.
Despite two more singles and a fielding error that loaded the bases, the Pirates would not score again in the inning.
Xander Carmichael homered with one out in the second inning, then the Pirates added two more in the third inning as Branden Denny and Trey Carter each singled to open the frame, and both would eventually score on wild pitches for a 7-0 lead after three innings of play.
The Pirates extended their lead to 9-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning by scoring two more times, as the first three hitters reached.
Coleman singled to open the inning and moved into scoring position on two throwing errors on the same play. He scored on a single by Cole Dyer, who got into scoring position when Connor Mullins was hit by a pitch.
Dyer, though, was cut down at the plate on a throw from Luke Fryman to Riley Kuhn, however, Mullins scored on a single by designated hitter Athan Temponares, which led to the lineup changes that almost backfired for the Pirates.
The top of the sixth began with a groundout back to the mound followed by singles from Spriggs and Bayley Clutters. A walk to Daniel Eggars, sandwiched around fielding errors on grounders to short and second, led to Spriggs and Clutters scoring the first two Oak Hill runs of the game.
With Kuhn and Eggars aboard, as a result of one of the two fielding errors and a walk, Kuhn scored on the second error, and Eggars was forced in on bases loaded free pass as Hunter Lahrmer was hit with a pitch.
Logan Hines accounted for the final Oaks tally when he scored on a single by Tyler Rice.
Fryman then walked to load the bases for Shane Spriggs, who came to the plate with three hits in three previous at bats. He worked the count full before popping out to first to end the threat.
Coleman, who came on in for relief in the sixth got the Oaks out in order in the top of the seventh on grounders to third and short, followed by a strikeout.