The Buckeye Valley baseball team continues to find ways to win tight tournament games, using a little of everything from its bag of tricks to notch a 2-1 win over Eaton in the second of two Division II regional semifinals Thursday night at Mason High School.
The Barons, competing in their first regional tournament since 1990, earned a trip to today’s regional final thanks to their third straight one-run win of the postseason.
Buckeye Valley used small ball to jump on top in the third inning. Joey Eurez greeted Eaton pitcher Brady Rice with a leadoff double — the first hit of the game by either team — to set the table. He went to third on a ground out by Noah Huss and came around to score on a squeeze bunt by Ted Akas.
After BV’s Mike Choe worked around an error to post a scoreless fourth, Mason Kurtz showed the Barons can score via the long ball as well, crushing a solo shot over the left field fence in the bottom half to double the lead to 2-0.
It was just Buckeye Valley’s second hit of the game, and its last hit, but it turned out to be all Choe and company would need.
Choe went the distance on the mound, allowing just a run on two hits. He struck out four and walked one.
Both the Eagles’ hits came in the sixth inning. Brock Ebright started the inning with a single and, two outs and a stolen base later, came home to score his team’s lone run on an RBI single off the bat of Reid Tinstman.
Rice tossed a solid game despite getting stuck with the loss. He allowed just the two hits — Eurez’ double and Kurtz’ homer — while walking one and striking out eight.
In the first semifinal, Badin blanked Taylor 6-0.
Nik Copenhaver fired a three-hit shutout, walking two and striking out nine in seven innings of work.
Cooper Fiehrer led the Rams at the dish, finishing a perfect 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Landyn Vidourek was also solid in the win, finishing 2-for-5 with a run and game-best two knocked in.
Badin and Buckeye Valley will play for a regional title today back at Mason. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.