Fort Recovery, Versailles fall in state baseball semifinals

Revenge was wearing purple and white Friday at Huntington Park as Fort Recovery had a little extra motivation in the Division IV state semifinals after losing to Newark Catholic in the same game a year ago.

But the emotion couldn’t carry the Indians into the small-school championship game as the defending champion Green Wave rallied for a 7-3 win.

Fort Recovery put the pressure on early as Jacob Homan got the Indians on the board with a two-out RBI double to the gap in left-center field. Homan didn’t stay at second long as Hunter Boughman followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0.

Newark Catholic battled back to take the lead in the third, but got some help from the Indians. An error opened the door for three unearned runs, all scoring with two outs.

Fort Recovery evened matters in the home third on a Jackson Hobbs RBI single, but Newark Catholic broke it open with a four-run fifth. The Green Wave put together four straight hits along with another Indians error to advance to the title game for the third year in a row.

“We’re disappointed with the outcome today,” Indians coach Jerry Kaup said. “We had a good season and we’ll try again next year.”

Berlin Hiland 3 Versailles 0: Versailles hoped to end a long string of successes for the opposing pitcher Friday.

Berlin Hiland’s Eric Mullet was riding a streak of 102 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. That’s an all-time state record, and a streak that dates to last season. It turned out to be a streak that continued as Versailles was blanked 3-0 in the Division III state semifinals.

The Tigers threatened early as cousins Keaton and Brett McEldowney delivered back-to-back one-out singles in the first inning, but both runners were left on base.

Versailles had two outs and nothing going on in the third inning until a Brett McEldowney single and a pair of Hiland errors loaded the bases, but Mullet was able to get out of the jam with a groundout to second base.

The Tigers stranded six runners in the first three innings. Hiland got all it needed with a pair of two-out RBI singles in the third.

Versailles went out in order the final four innings as Mullet ran his streak of consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to 109.

“Making it to the state final four and facing the number one team in the state, we knew it was going to be quite a challenge for us,” Tigers coach Ryan Schlater said. “I’m proud of our guys, they battled and got guys on base. We just couldn’t come up with the big hit like they did and that’s just how it goes.”