SMITHVILLE – The Smithville Seminoles had no difficulty in the dispatching of their second-round playoff opponent Biggersville.
The Noles’ pitching staff completed two shutouts, and the offense poured it on in the 15-0 and 7-0 victories. Smithville moves on to face West Union in the third round, starting on Thursday.
Smithville pounded out double-digit hits and runs in the 15-0 Game 1 win on Friday night.
“We hit really well in the first inning, and then in my opinion, we got a little sloppy after that,” Smithville coach Jamie Russell said. “You can’t do that if you want to be successful throughout this thing. You have to be in it, every pitch, every inning. I’m one of those who wants us to be perfect every time, even though I know that’s not going to happen.”
The Noles sent 11 men to the plate and put up a 7-0 lead in the first.
Heath Noe drew a walk leading off and stole second. Wesley Grier followed him with a walk as well, and Stuart Coggins moved them both over with a groundout. Will McNeese lined a base hit into right for a 2-0 lead, and Jared Johnson followed him with an RBI double.
A walk to Blayde Scott and a base hit by Peyton Blair loaded the bases, and Aubrey Cox came through with an RBI single. Dustin Moffett drew a bases-loaded walk, and Noe reached on a fielder’s choice. Grier added an RBI single, but Biggersville got out of the inning with a pickoff at third base.
Coggins opened the three-run second inning with a double, and he eventually scored on a throwing error. Johnson and Scott each walked with one out, and Cox came through with another big hit, this one a two-run, two-out single to make it 10-0.
In the third, the two-out hitting continued with an RBI single by McNeese and an RBI double by Johnson.
Grier had the big hit in the bottom of the fourth, legging out a triple to score both Moffett and Noe, who had each been hit by a pitch to open the inning. Coggins ended the game with his sacrifice fly to make it 15-0.
“We have some guys starting to hit it. Aubrey (Cox) has been hitting it well, and I was proud to see Jared (Johnson) hit it tonight,” Russell said. “He’s been hitting it well in practice. We just have to overall keep getting better and not get content. When we get content, we get in trouble, and I thought we did that after the first inning.”
Chris Lockhart and Jared Johnson combined for the Game 1 shutout. Lockhart went the first three innings, allowing two hits and striking out four.
“Jared hadn’t thrown in a few weeks,” Russell said. “Chris was throwing well, and we hated to take him out, but we wanted to get Jared some work there. We’re going to need him down the road as well.”
West Union also swept its second-round series, and Russell said he knew the road in the playoffs was getting tougher.
“It gets tougher every week, and that’s just the part of the year we’re in,” he said. “If they’re there, they’re still in it for a reason. If they keep getting better, we have to keep getting better.”
Game 2: Smithville 7, Biggersville 0
Blayde Scott threw the shutout, allowing just two hits and striking out nine.
Aubrey Cox and Chris Lockhart each went 3 for 4 with a double and combined to drive in three runs.
Heath Noe was 2 for 4 with a double and a pair of RBI, while Wesley Grier also had two hits. Will McNeese was 2 for 4 with a double.