The second-seeded Buckeye Valley baseball team was all business in Thursday’s Division II sectional final against 13th-seeded Utica, posting crooked numbers in each of the first three innings en route to a convincing 12-5 win.
After starting and winning pitcher Jaxson Stried struck out a pair in a hitless first inning of work, the Baron offense set the tone with five runs in the bottom half.
Mason Kurtz singled home Tanner Domyanich with the game’s first run before scoring on an errant pickoff attempt. Cole Raile then made it 3-0 with an RBI double, and Raile and Zach Church both scored on an error later in the inning to stake their team to the big lead.
Utica got two of the runs back in the second, taking advantage of a BV miscue and an RBI single off the bat of Connor Whisner, but BV continued to apply pressure from the plate.
Buckeye Valley added two more runs in the second and another four in the third thanks in part to a two-run homer by Enzo DiRocco, who finished 2-for-4 with two runs and the two RBI.
Other Baron standouts included Kurtz, who finished a perfect 4-for-4 from the dish with a triple to go with two runs and two knocked in; Domyanich, who was 2-for-3 with a game-best three runs and an RBI; and Church, who collected a couple hits and scored once.
Chase Bennett and Gavin Tussey led Utica with two hits apiece.
Next up, Buckeye Valley will take on sixth-seeded Highland in Tuesday’s district semifinal. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m. at BV.
Hilliard Darby 12, Delaware Hayes 2, 6 inn.
The 34th-seeded Pacers were within striking distance when Wednesday’s Division I sectional final against the host Panthers was suspended, down just 4-2 in the fourth.
When things picked back up Thursday in Hilliard, though, it was all Darby.
The Panthers, who had the bases loaded with nobody out when play resumed, scored five times in the fourth to balloon their advantage to 9-2 heading into the late innings. They added three in the sixth to punctuate the win. Brody Van Dyke’s RBI single to left sealed the deal.
Brennan Green had two of the Pacers’ four hits. Colin Milligan and Austin Dowell had the others.
Olentangy 11, Olentangy Orange 8; Olentangy Liberty 17, Avon Lake 6.