Martins Ferry boys outlasts Union Local in eight to advance

File Photo Martins Ferry’s Mason Redinger delivers a pitch to the plate during Monday’s Ohio Division III sectional tournament game against Union Local. The Purple Riders won, 3-2, in eight innings.

MARTINS FERRY –Fifth-seeded Martins Ferry launched its OHSAA D-III Sectional Tournament play in walk-off fashion Monday afternoon, ousting 12th-seeded and stubborn Union Local via a 3-2 eighth-inning win.

The victory was the 13th in 23 starts for the Purple Riders and propels Coach Anthony Reasbeck’s charges into a sectional co-final against Garaway Wednesday at Sugarcreek. The fourth-seeded Pirates rallied past Coshocton, 7-6.

Union Local, which also dropped a pair of regular-season contests against the Purple, ended the campaign at 7-18 for second-year head coach Jim Hess. The Jets played much better than their record would indicate and could have easily proved victorious.

Ferry pushed across the winning run after Kolson Ludolph, one of five freshmen in the Purple’s starting lineup, opened the eighth with a double. Turner Krol followed by drawing a walk. After a flyball out, sophomore Luca Shane singled with Ludolph barely beating the outfield throw home.

“What a great game,” said an elated Reasbeck. “It was a terrific pitching duel. Fortunately, we got the key hit when we needed it.

“We knew Union Local would come ready to play…and they certainly did,” added the former Purple Rider athletic standout. “I have a lot of respect for Coach Hess. He is as good as you get.”

Ferry’s Mason Redinger went the route on the hill. After a shaky first two innings, the senior right-hander was brilliant. He struck out seven, walked three and allowed just five hits.

Billy Schumacher was equally as impressive for Union Local. He fanned five and walked three in his 7-plus innings of work.

“This one really hurts,” Hess said. “Billy pitched a tremendous game. We just couldn’t get the key hit when we needed it.

“I thought we had a chance to put three or four runs on the board in the first inning but we only got one,” he added. “As the game went on, we got a little lackadaisical at the plate. But give Redinger credit, he pitched a very good game.”

Schumacher opened the UL first by coaxing a walk. He scored on an error. Logan Hess singled, placing runners on the corners with one out. Redinger, however, worked his way out of the jam via a strikeout and groundout.

Ferry knotted the game at 1-1 in its initial at-bat. Talented frosh Colby Kropka walked and eventually scored on a Ludolph single.

UL came right back to add another run in the second. Hayden Jenkins singled followed by an Alex Moore single. Jenkins came home on a wild pitch.

The Purple Riders made it a 2-2 issue in the fifth. Shane singled and, after a Jet error, scored on a Kropka single.

Ferry threatened in the sixth. Ludolph singled with one out. After another Purple Rider out, standout freshman catcher Elijah Smith delivered another single. Schumacher got out of the inning by inducing a groundout.

“We got a lot of puppies in the lineup. But they are growing up,” Reasbeck said. “If we would have played this game a month ago we would have lost it. But these guys have worked hard, stay focused and really improved.

“But you still need the old guys to come through in a game like this. Mason really stepped up for us,” he continued. “It was a classic high school game. It is nice to be playing another game.”

Ludolph led the Purple’s nine-hit attack with a double and two singles. Kropka and Shane each produced two hits for the winners.

“I hate to see the season end, especially like this. I want to thank my five seniors for all they have done for us,” Hess said. “We made some strides this year and the future looks bright. We have a lot of young kids coming. Our numbers are really strong.”

Moore was the lone Jet to have two hits.

Ohio Division III Tournament

OLD WASHINGTON – Host Buckeye Trail pushed a run across the plate in the bottom of the eighth with one out to eliminate Edison, 5-4, in an Ohio Division III sectional tournament game at the Baker Activity Complex.

Cole Pittman had three singles for the Wildcats, while Chase Freeman singled in a pair. J.D. Henderson and Liam Watson each singled twice, with Watson driving in a run. Kyle Russell also had an RBI single.

The Warriors will meet top-seeded Barnesville on Wednesday at the Memorial Park diamond in western Belmont County.


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