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YSHS sophomore Tiger Collins leapt to a first-place finish in the high jump at the MBC Track and Field Championships on Saturday, May 13. Collins and fellow teammates Malcom Blunt and Sven Meister earned all-league honors for wins at the competition. Here, Collins stuck a landing at a track meet earlier in the season. (Photo by Michael Knemeyer)

Bulldog Sports Round-Up | May 19, 2023

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A shut-out victory for varsity

Monday, May 8, was a beautiful day for baseball, even with the lingering threat of severe weather. That threat caused the game against Ponitz to be moved from Kettering Fields to the Belmont baseball field. Regardless, the Bulldogs were up for the challenge. They scored two, three, eight and six runs in their three-plus innings at the plate before the game was stopped by the Ponitz coach.

Hazen VanMeter and Krishan Miller each had a multiple-hit game. Antonio Chaiten rang up four walks, three stolen bases and four runs in his four at-bats. Josh Clark had three walks, a hit-by-pitch, a stolen base and four runs to support his own pitching efforts. Clark was unhittable on the mound, giving up zero hits and pitching a shutout.

The only blemishes were two walks and two hit-by-pitches, which Miller promptly took care of by throwing out two runners at third on steal attempts, with Brady Baker holding his ground while applying each tag.

Tuesday, May 9, saw a rematch between the Bulldogs and the Trotwood-Madison Rams. VanMeter started the game and went three innings, giving up eight runs after an uncharacteristically wild spell. This may have been due to being bowled over by a Division I football player disguised as a baseball player, trying to score as VanMeter covered home on a relayed throw from the outfield. Regardless, he was reaching his pitch count limit, so was replaced by Krishan Miller.

Miller breezed through his first two innings of relief, but errors, walks and the infuriating hit-by-pitch took their toll in the sixth and final inning due to lack of remaining sunlight. The Bulldogs had scored three in the first, eight in the second and two in the fifth, to lead 13–8 going into that perilous sixth inning. The Rams pushed across eight runs in the top of the inning to take a 16–13 lead.

The Bulldogs were determined to pull out a come-from-behind victory — but it was not to be, as Baker, Sam Miller and Chaiten each had hard hits that were thwarted by excellent defensive plays by the Rams. Chaiten, Krishan Miller, VanMeter, Sam Miller and Caleb Derrickson each had multiple-hit games in the loss. Chaiten added to his season total of 24 stolen bases, which places him second in the Metro Buckeye Conference. He trails the leader in this category by just three, even though he has been in four fewer games and has had 30 fewer at-bats. It should also be mentioned that Chaiten has yet to be caught stealing.

The Thursday, May 10, game was the second of the year against Dunbar. This game was at Gaunt Park on a night that was about 40 degrees warmer than the first meeting. Clark helped with that as he brought the heat all night. He gave up only one hit in a complete-game shutout in which he logged another nine strikeouts, putting him in the top three in strikeouts for the conference. The Bulldog bats were on fire as well with multiple-hit games by Chaiten, Krishan Miller, Derrickson, Baker, Shawn VanHoose and Sam Miller in a 22–0 victory. Chaiten added another three stolen bases to put him in a tie at the top of the conference leaderboard in that category.

A Friday, May 11, game against Thurgood Marshall was canceled because the Cougars could not muster enough players to take on the Bulldogs. This brings the regular season to a close with only the tournament remaining. The Bulldogs ended with an 8–15 record, logging the most regular-season victories in the last 21 years.

JV falls to Middletown at season’s end

On Monday, May 8, the JV Bulldogs’ game was at Middletown Madison High School against the formidable Mohawks. Although the team was billed as a young and struggling squad, their assessment was way off the mark. The Bulldogs managed to put together a couple of good offensive innings and score five runs. Freshman Jaxyn Fletcher extended his hitting streak to four games. However, it was not enough to overcome the mighty Mohawks as they tallied a final 20 runs.

A lone game on Saturday, May 12, was to be the final one of the inaugural season for the JV squad. This single game was a makeup of a rained-out doubleheader from earlier in the season against Emmanuel Christian. Alas, the rain washed away this game as well, bringing the season to a close on a soggy note.

McKinney ends season with a win and a loss

Tuesday, May 9, saw the mighty middle school team travel to Trotwood-Madison to take on the Rams. The Bulldogs jumped out to an early eight-run lead in the first and never looked back. They continued to add runs until the game was finally called a run-rule victory with a final score of 15–4. Lefty Bryce Fleming and Neirin Barker combined for the impressive win.

Thursday, May 11, was the rematch with the formidable Dayton Christian team the Bulldogs have been waiting to face since their earlier season loss. They wanted to avenge the loss from earlier in the season and show the powerhouse that they could hang with them — and they did just that.

Fleming started and pitched three strong innings, despite some questionable decisions by the umpire. He kept his cool and lasted as long as he could in the moisture-zapping heat. Up to the point the heat kicked in, the Bulldogs were up on the Warriors 4–1. They were able to tack on another run, and Barker did a nice job in relief, but the Bulldogs were finally vanquished by a score of 10–5.

The final record for this first-year team was 4–7, bringing a close to the season for a team that was inspiring to watch all season long.

—Mitch Clark, coach


Regular season ends with no-hitter

The Yellow Springs High School varsity softball players continued their hot hitting as they stretched their end-of-season winning streak to four games by defeating Ponitz by a score of 28–7 to conclude the regular season with a convincing victory.

Halee Sparks and Nevaeh Smith combined to pitch a no-hitter, and Adeline Zinger blasted three triples and a homerun and had an incredible nine runs batted in to lead the team to the victory. The Bulldogs finished the season on a strong note as they won six of their last seven games while averaging a whopping 18 runs per game.

Coach Jim was impressed, saying: “This very inexperienced team made a quantum leap improvement by the end of the year in both hitting and fielding. Very enjoyable to watch them grow as the season progressed.”

The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 2–0 lead in the first inning as lead-off hitter Autumn Sorenson continued her hot hitting with a single and a stolen base and then scored on a single by Violet Babb. Sorenson, a first-year player, has thrived in the leadoff spot with a .666 batting average and eight RBIs and eight stolen bases in the last four games.

Coach Jim observed: “Sorenson had never played softball before this season, but after our first practice, it was clear that I had found my lead-off hitter — the combination of speed on the bases and eye-hand coordination were evident from day one.”

The Bulldogs put the game away in the second inning by sending 15 batters to the plate and scoring nine runs — with all runs scoring after there were two outs in the inning. Gabby Florence scored two runs that inning, and the key hit of the inning was Zinger’s long triple to right field to knock in three runs. It was quite the hitting display for Zinger as the triple was the first of an incredible three triples and a homerun and nine RBIs for the game.

“Zinger is another person on the team who is very athletic and therefore could excel at any sport, and I am thankful that softball was one of the sports she chose to play,” Coach Jim said.

The pitching was anchored by Sparks, who was making her final career regular season start and finished with a bang by tossing a no-hitter. Sparks struck out seven in five innings pitched and it became a combined no-hitter when Smith entered the game in the fourth inning to record a strikeout before giving way to Sparks to finish the game.

Sparks finished the season with a 7–1 record and led the Metro Buckeye Conference, or MBC, in both wins and earned-run average. Sparks’ combined record over the last two seasons is 12–2.

“Sparks will be missed,” Coach Jim said. “Last year she put it all together when she led us to an undefeated MBC record. This year she was in a groove the entire season.”

Hitting stars for the Bulldogs were Zinger, who was four-for-six, with three runs scored and nine RBIs; Babb, who was four-for-six, with four runs scored and five RBIs; Sparks, who was four-for-five, with two RBIs; Chloe Bayard, who was on base four times and scored four runs; and Smith, who was three-for-four with three runs scored.

The future for next season looks bright for the Bulldogs, as they only have two seniors on the team and, after starting the regular season with a 0–5 record, they won seven of their last nine games to finish the season with a 7–7 record.

—Jim Delong, coach


Three advance to district tourney

Henry Smith-Heston, Ethan Knemeyer and Jason Knemeyer will advance to the district tournament in Mason on Thursday, May 18. This is the second year for Smith-Heston playing singles, and the third year for the Knemeyer twins playing doubles at the famous Lindner Family Tennis Center.

Only the best athletes from the greater Dayton-Cincinnati area get to play on the same courts as the world’s top tennis professionals. I am very proud of the boys for representing Yellow Springs at this prestigious event.

In last week’s article, I somehow left off another villager who has helped our team immensely. Over the years, Craig Cordell hit with the players, emphasizing the importance of consistency, hitting a thousand balls, as a top strategy for improvement. I am very grateful for his guidance and support of the team.

A large part of our team’s success has been the involvement of so many locals. It truly takes a village.

—Stacey Knemeyer, coach

Track and field

YS wins big at MBC championships

Yellow Springs High School served as the host site Saturday, May 13, for the annual Metro Buckeye Conference Track and Field Championships. What started off as a rainy and windy meet yielded to sunshine by the conclusion of the meet. Both the YSHS boys and girls teams finished fourth in the tough competition that is normal for the MBC.

Senior Malcolm Blunt garnered two first-place finishes and earned all-league status with his victories in the long jump (20’7) and 200-meter dash (23.28).  He also sped to a second-place effort in the 100 meters (11.78) and teamed up with Malik Booth, Jack Horvath and Kyle Raymer for a fourth-place run in the 1,600-meter relay. Fellow senior Sven Meister earned a title in the shot put with a heave of 38’11 and also earned all-league honors; he also placed sixth in the discus.

Junior Kyle Raymer navigated the 300 hurdles with a third-place effort (46.08). Fourth-place scoring efforts were garnered by the 400-meter relay quartet of Kiernan Anderson, Raymer, Jonah Summers and Phoenix York, while the 800-meter relay group of Anderson, Summers, Morris Wyatt and York also earned valuable points. Zac Butler, Ethan Goodman and Charles Whitlock put forth solid efforts in this stiff competition.

On the girls side, sophomore Tiger Collins achieved all-league honors with a first-place leap in the high jump (4’6) while also jumping to runner-up effort in the long jump (15’0). She complemented these performances with fourth-place performances in the 100 and 300 hurdles. Ninth-grader Llnyah Grant sped to third-place sprints in both the 100 and 200 meters and anchored the girls 400-meter relay team of Liliana Herzog, Ahsha Jackson and Gema Paz Brizuela to a third-place finish.

Herzog showed her versatility in finishing third in the long jump, along with adding two fifth-place finishes in the 100 and 300 hurdles. Senior Cheyan Sundell-Turner capped a fine career with a pair of third-place achievements in the 800 and 1,600 meters. Classmate Josie DeWine legged a third-place run in the 3,200 meters. A trio of the Bulldog relay teams scored fourth-place points: 800 relay team Clara Gomez, Paz Brizuela, Ariana Robinson and Lilliana Sylvester; 1,600 relay runners Cynthia Burke, Grant, Addison Shafeek and Sundell-Turner; and 3,200 relay quartet Burke, Josie DeWine, Rebecca DeWine and Siobhan McCann-Stewart. 

Ninth-grader Gomez placed third in the pole vault and added a fifth-place win in the 400 meters, while fellow ninth-grader Sylvester added a fourth-place leap in the pole vault. Another of the talented ninth-graders, Shafeek, tossed the discus to a fifth-place throw, and Rebecca DeWine gutted out a fifth place in the 3,200. Lastly, Paz Brizuela rounded out the Bulldogs scoring by placing sixth in the shot put.

Special awards given by the league’s coaches were issued to Blunt, who was given the Coachability Award; Gomez, named Rookie of the Year; and Paz Brizuela and Wyatt, who received Sportsmanship Awards.

Coaches Isabelle Dierauer and John Gudgel were duly impressed with personal performances achieved by several Bulldogs along with the determined efforts put forth despite the initial adverse weather conditions. Both coaches also cited the tremendous fan support given to the athletes by the large hometown crowd.

The Bulldogs will compete in District Finals on Saturday, May 20, at Graham High School.

Fastest Bulldog race results

More than 50 Mills Lawn Elementary School students participated in the annual Fastest Bulldog Competition on Wednesday, May 10. Every runner received a ribbon; trophies were awarded to the top two runners, Lloyd Grant and Amelia Linse.

—John Gudgel, coach

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