Kenton Ridge ends Tippecanoe’s sectional title streak

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Kenton Ridge coach Aaron Shaffer proud of sectional title

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Cougars win first sectional title since 2011

The baseball rivalry between Tippecanoe and Kenton Ridge lives.

The Red Devils left the Central Buckeye Conference for the Great Western Ohio Conference in 2017 after many years and many battles against the Cougars. They have run into each other numerous times over the years in the sectional tournament, and that was again the case Thursday.

Kenton Ridge, a state runner-up 10 years ago, rediscovered the postseason magic it has lacked in recent seasons and also avenged a 9-0 loss to Tippecanoe a month ago, beating the Red Devils 5-2 in a Division II sectional final at Tecumseh High School.

“It’s a big game,” Kenton Ridge catcher Luke Holt said. “We’ve been waiting for this game for weeks. We made a lot of mistakes the last game. We were eager to come back and show them we’re a better team.”

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Kenton Ridge’s Luke Holt rounds the bases after a home run against Tippecanoe in a Division II sectional final at Tecumseh High School on Thursday, May 18, 2017. David Jablonski/Staff

Kenton Ridge’s Luke Holt rounds the bases after a home run against Tippecanoe in a Division II sectional final at Tecumseh High School on Thursday, May 18, 2017. David Jablonski/Staff
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Kenton Ridge’s Luke Holt rounds the bases after a home run against Tippecanoe in a Division II sectional final at Tecumseh High School on Thursday, May 18, 2017. David Jablonski/Staff

Kenton Ridge (22-6) advanced to play Waynesville in a district final at 11 a.m. Saturday at Miamisburg High School. This is Kenton Ridge’s first sectional title since 2011 when it won its fifth straight.

Holt’s solo home run in the fifth inning gave the Cougars a 3-0 lead and proved to be the winning run. Tippecanoe cut the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth. The Cougars then answered in the sixth. Two runs scored on a triple by Zach Schneider.

Kenton Ridge handed Tippecanoe ace Aaron Hughes his first loss. He entered with a 6-0 and a 1.09 ERA in 10 appearances. He struck out six.

“It was timely hitting,” Kenton Ridge coach Aaron Shaffer said. “With Hughes, you’re not going to bang the ball around the park. He keeps you off balance. He keeps you guessing. You’ve got to get big hits in big situations.”

Kenton Ridge’s Kaleb Meeks, who was 5-1 with a 0.93 ERA in 10 appearances entering the game, went the distance on the mound. He struck out nine and got out a jam in the fourth with an inning-ending, bases-loaded double play. That wasn’t the only missed opportunity for Tippecanoe.

“We had a guy picked off first and hit into a double play and didn’t take advantage of the (five) walks (Meeks) had,” Tippecanoe coach Bruce Cahill said. “He definitely helped us out that way, but we didn’t have big hits. Our big guys didn’t come through today.”

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Tippecanoe’s Justyn Eichbaum dives to try to make a catch against Kenton Ridge in a Division II sectional final at Tecumseh High School on Thursday, May 18, 2017. David Jablonski/Staff

Tippecanoe’s Justyn Eichbaum dives to try to make a catch against Kenton Ridge in a Division II sectional final at Tecumseh High School on Thursday, May 18, 2017. David Jablonski/Staff
Caption
Tippecanoe’s Justyn Eichbaum dives to try to make a catch against Kenton Ridge in a Division II sectional final at Tecumseh High School on Thursday, May 18, 2017. David Jablonski/Staff

Tippecanoe’s streak of seven straight sectional championships ended. It finished the season 22-6.

“It’s a good season,” Cahill said. “It’s a good group of kids. I knew we were going to win a lot of games, but unless you win today or a league championship, it really doesn’t make any difference. Hat’s off to them. They got both.”

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