THE PLAINS, Ohio — The middle innings made all the difference.
The Athens baseball team struck for all-7 of its runs over the third, fourth and fifth innings on Thursday in Athens County, as the Bulldogs topped Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division guest Meigs by a 7-3 final.
Following a scoreless first inning, the Marauders (7-11, 7-5 TVC Ohio) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, as Wyatt Hoover singled home Cory Cox.
The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead in the home half of the third, as they strung together three straight hits. Athens added one to its lead in the following inning and then broke the free with four runs on two hits, an error and a walk in the bottom of the fifth.
The Marauders ended their three-inning drought in the top of the sixth, as Bryce Swatzel drove in Alex Pierce, and then Hoover singled home Cox. However, MHS had just one more hit in the game and fell by a 7-3 tally.
Briar Wolfe took the pitching loss in four innings for Meigs, striking out three batters, while giving up three earned runs on four hits and four walks. Zayne Wolfe finished the game on the mound for the Marauders, striking out one, while surrendering four runs, three earned, on three hits and a walk.
Cornwell was the winning pitcher in a complete game for the hosts, striking out five batters, while allowing three earned runs on nine hits and two walks.
Cox led the Marauder offense, going 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored. Hoover was 2-for-2 with two RBIs in the setback, Briar Wolfe singled twice, while Zach Helton and Zayne Wolfe both singled once. Pierce scored once for Meigs, while Swatzel earned an RBI.
Trainer led the Bulldogs, going 3-for-4 with a triple, two doubles, and a run scored.
Meigs and Athens committed an error apiece in the game. MHS left eight runners on base, two more than AHS.
Athens — the TVC Ohio champion — also defeated Meigs by a 3-2 count on April 12 in Rocksprings.
After a trip to Marietta on Friday, Meigs will prepare to host Southeastern in the opening round of the Division III sectional tournament on Wednesday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.