STEUBENVILLE - Harrison Central overcame early errors and bounced back to run rule Buckeye Local in the Division II sectional at Vaccaro Field.
The Huskies loosened up in the third, scoring six and then added an additional five in the fourth to run away for the 13-3 decision.
"It was another big situation, it is tournament baseball, and you have to get your feet a little wet," said Harrison Central head coach Justin Clifford. "We got off to a rocky start, but, to our credit, we never panicked, we stayed positive, settled down and came back."
T-L Photo/MIKE PALMER
Buckeye Local's shortstop Shane Duncan goes high to avoid the collision as Harrison Central's Rashaen Mitchell slides in hard to break up the double play during Thursday’s Division II?sectional game in Steubenville.
Buckeye Local scored three runs in the opening frame as Huskies' starter Rashaen Mitchell struggled in the early going.
Buckeye's Chase Hopkins drew a lead off walk, then the The senior southpaw hit Shane Duncan on an 0-2 count, recorded a strikeout and then plunked Jonathan Borkoski to load the bases.
Mitchell walked in a run on five pitches to Eric Banal and then watched two more runs cross the plate on an error as Harrison attempted to turn two and the ball was thrown wildly.
Harrison, which got a sacrifice fly from senior Nick Pelegreen in the first, trailed 3-1 until the bottom of the third inning when Pelegreen came back to the plate with one out and popped up to the Panthers' pitcher Hopkins with one out.
"It was a freak error," said Buckeye Local head coach Rick DeLuca. "Chase is usually an outfielder and has a good glove, the glove just got twisted and the ball popped out, it was one of those strange things, and it gave them an opportunity."
Itt all unraveled for the Panthers as Harrison Central senior Rhett Kuryn singled, plating Pelegreen. Austin Kowalski drew a walk and Kalub Mitchell stroked a two-run double. Rutter and Reddish added RBI singles to put Buckeye Local in a hole, 6-3.
The rally brought the fire back into Rashaen Michell on the mound as he struck out the side.
Pelegreen got his first hit of the game to lead off in the bottom of the productive fourth for the Huskies.
Horn singled and Kuryn drew a walk to load the bases for Kowalski, who reached on an error scoring Pelegreen. Kalub Mitchell reached on a fielder's choice as Horn scampered home. Rutter also received an RBI via the error before Rashaen Mitchell notched a pair of RBIs on a single to make it 12-3 Huskies.
"We had seven errors tonight, but Harrison is a good, scrappy team that keeps coming at you and once they smelled blood ." the Panther's DeLuca lamented. "I can't explain it, we have not had seven errors in the last ten games."
Eric Banal doubled to left center in the fifth prompting Clifford to pull his starter.
"Rashean has not pitched in like 13 days, since the OVAC game, and he did not have his best stuff, but he more than compensated with the way he swung the bat."
That would be all for the Panthers as Nick Staten plated Redish to cause the run rule in the sixth. Buckeye Local bids farewell to six seniors. Buckeye finishes 12-15.
Buckeye 300 000 3 5 7
Harrison 106 501 13 11 1
Batteries: Hopkins, Marshall (3) and Ostovich (5) and Sokolowski. Mitchell, Porter (5) and Staten.