MAROA — It wasn't the best start for Maroa-Forsyth, but it ultimately didn't matter.
The Trojans fell behind by two runs in the first inning before the offense exploded for eight in the second on the way to a 13-2 win over Warrensburg-Latham on Wednesday in the Class 2A Maroa-Forsyth Regional semifinals.
Starting pitcher Ian Benner settled in and didn't allow any more runs the rest of the game and allowed just two total hits. He helped his own cause at the plate by going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBI. Tre Corley added three RBI and Aaron Agee drove in two of his own.
“Ian Benner struggled the first inning or so," Maroa coach Sean Martin said. "He settled in after that and was great. We had some timely hits and squared a few balls with runners on base, which took the pressure off a little bit and ended up winning by a big margin. All we care about is the next game. We care about how we play, staying focused, and playing our game. That’s been our motto all year. Just playing to the best of our ability.”
The Trojans (16-2) will play either Pleasant Plains or Argenta-Oreana at 11 a.m. Saturday in the regional championship game.
Tuscola 5, Georgetown-Ridge Farm 2
GEORGETOWN — Adam Carver has a plan for the next few days before Tuscola plays in the Class 2A Georgetown-Ridge Farm Regional championship game against Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin or Fithian Oakwood.
There were some plays Carver wishes the Warriors (27-2) made in a semifinal win over Georgetown-Ridge Farm. Ultimately, the pitching of Lucas Kresin was enough to power Tuscola to the regional title game.
Kresin threw seven innings, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out 10 batters.
“It’s good to get a win," Carver said. "Lucas Kresin threw a really good game, which we expected."
Brayden VonLanken was 2-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBI and Hayden Cothron was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
"VonLanken had the big home run to get our offense started," Carver said. "We knew Georgetown was going to give us a tough game. They had nothing to lose. We had some plays that I’d like to have seen us make, but we battled. I’m going to hit a thousand ground balls to them in the next two days. We’ll work on some reps offensively. Some guys had good days at the plate, but some guys struggled. But mainly, it’s about making those routine plays.”
Okaw Valley 7, Central A&M 3
MACON — For the first six innings, things were going smoothly for Okaw Valley.
The Timberwolves entered the seventh leading by six runs before coach Andrew Hagerman made a pitching change. Eli Hagerman came in and shut the door on Central A&M in the Class 1A Moweaqua (Central A&M) Regional semifinals that were played at Meridian because of field conditions.
Eli Hagerman entered in the seventh inning and put the game away for Okaw Valley.
“We had control of the game most of the way; we got on the board early," Andrew Hagerman said. "The guys had a good approach hitting the ball and running the bases, and we added runs as the game went on. We came up against a little adversity in the last inning; we had to make a pitching change and it got pretty tight for a bit, but Eli Hagerman did a great job shutting them down.
Camden Coleman started the game for the Timberwolves and pitched six innings, allowing four hits and two walks to go with 10 strikeouts. Offensively, Dalton McGill hit a big two-run home run for Okaw Valley in the bottom of the fifth inning that sailed over the left field fence, providing much-needed insurance for Okaw Valley (15-9).
"Dalton McGill hit a bomb over the left field wall. He really needed that. We’ve seen him just get better and better as the season’s gone on.”
Okaw Valley plays either LSA or Meridian at 10 p.m. Saturday for the regional championship.