By John Bombatch
and Josh Brown
BEAVERCREEK — Both Troy and Beavercreek still had an opening date on their regular season baseball schedules, and both were still alive in the Division I sectional postseason, so the two Greater Western Ohio Conference teams met up for one final regular season game on Tuesday at Beavercreek High School.
“This will absolutely help both of us,” Troy coach Ty Welker said. “When we made it past the second round (in the sectionals), we still had two rainout dates. One of the teams was Kenton Ridge, and we played them (Monday, a 7-2 loss). Fairmont was the other one, but they were eliminated.
“Within 15 minutes time, I had 4-5 schools wanting to know if we would play. Brandon (Long, Beavercreek’s coach) was the first to call. And knowing that we will be playing Springboro here (on Thursday, May 18 in the sectional title game), I asked him if we could come to his place to play. … An extra day of seeing ground balls here, should help us.”
The game was almost more help than either team expected.
Troy (17-12) scored a run in the fifth, another in the sixth, then three more in its top half of the seventh to even things up before the Beavers scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the inning to walk off with a 6-5 victory Tuesday at Beavercreek.
Hayden Kotwica and Cole Brogan each tripled and eventually scored for the Trojans. Kotwica, Jake Daniel and Jacob Adams each scored unearned runs in the seventh to knot things up. Kotwica, Brogan and Brandon Emery had two hits each.
But the Beavers’ Joey Riedel smacked a one-out sacrifice fly to right field to score Treyben Funderburg with the game-winning run in Beavercreek’s bottom of the seventh.
Funderburg led Beavercreek (17-7) with a pair of hits, including a double, two walks and two runs scored. Corey Jordison hit a ground-rule double and also walked and scored a run in the Beavers’ win.
With the playoffs in mind, Troy used a dozen different batters, four pitchers and a courtesy runner. Beavercreek also sent a dozen players up to bat and used four pitchers.
“We had just beaten Miamisburg, and (Troy) had just defeated Fairborn, so coach Welker and I figured that a live game is always better than a practice,” Long said. “They have a solid program, and we knew it would be a good game to get us ready for Thursday.”
Both Troy and Beavercreek will play in their respective bracket sectional finals at 5 p.m. Thursday. No. 9 seed Troy will take on No. 2 seed Springboro in the sectional title game at Beavercreek, with the winner of that contest taking on either West Chester Lakota West or Cincinnati La Salle at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Centerville High School.
* Track and Field
WEST MILTON — A number of Division III athletes punched their tickets to next week’s regional a little early Tuesday at the opening day of the D-III district track and field meet at Milton-Union High School, with four boys and three girls events finalized on the night and the rest to take place on Saturday.
Covington’s Lauren Christian won a district title in the girls shot put (39-4).
The 4×800 relay had a pair of local qualifiers. Miami East’s team of Marie Ewing, Lindsey Yingst, Kaitlyn Mack and Lorenza Savini was second (9:58.77), and Covington’s team of Paige Boehringer, Anna Dunn, Ashlyn Plessinger and Kelsey Dysinger was third (10:10.43).
There were also two local qualifiers in the high jump, as Miami East’s Liza Bair was second (5-0) and Troy Christian’s Kenley Blake was third (4-10).
On the boys side, Miami East’s 4×800 team of Gavin Horn, Eric and Greg Austerman and Bryce Redick was second (8:24.63).
The pole vault also saw a pair of qualifiers, as Miami East’s Blaine Brokschmidt was second (14-0) and Covington’s Jett Murphy was third (13-6).
The finals begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Milton-Union.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter. Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.