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The YS High School track team warms up — in more ways than one — before a cold first meet of the season at Springfield Shawnee. (Submitted photo)

Bulldog Sports Round-Up | April 5, 2024

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BASEBALL

Bulldogs slosh through first week

The McKinney Middle and Yellow Springs High schools baseball season got off to a wet start with six games canceled last week. The middle school and varsity teams were able to sneak in one game each, in between the puddles.

The varsity team traveled to South Charleston Park on Thursday, March 28, to face last year’s sectional champion, the Southeastern Trojans, on their home field. The Trojans did not have everyone back from last year’s team, which ended their season with a fifth-place finish in the state. However, the Bulldogs entered the game as huge underdogs — which was not even a consideration in the mind of freshman Mason Cline as he toed the rubber for the first game of his high school career.

Cline surrendered only one hit on a tough scorekeeper’s decision that could have gone either way. He allowed just one run over his impressive four innings of work. Jake Ortiz-Thornton relieved Cline and pitched well, earning four strikeouts, and surrendering no walks in two innings. Ortiz-Thornton’s only run allowed was an unearned one, but the Bulldogs entered the seventh inning down 2–0.

The Trojans’ pitcher, lefthander Co Erskine, stymied the bats of the young Bulldogs, throwing seven superb innings and giving up only three hits and a run. Erskine’s pitching, combined with a good move to first base, kept the Bulldogs’ runners out of scoring position for most of the game. (There was no confirmation that he is any relation to former Dodgers pitching great Carl Erskine.)

Isaac Grushon led the Bulldogs’ offense, starting his senior season with two singles and a run scored. Sophomore third baseman Sailor Schultz added a hit in his first-ever varsity game. The Bulldogs did manage to eke out a run in the seventh inning, but their comeback was halted on a questionable call at second base before they could tie the game, finishing in a very close 2–1 loss.

Assistant Coach Bryan Rogusky commented: “We didn’t win, but we were really close. A lot of people will be surprised when they look at that final score. This team has some great potential. We don’t see too many lefties, and I think that was the difference.”

Also on Thursday, McKinney Middle School Coach Scott Fleming led his young Bulldogs to a home victory in their opening day contest against conference opponent Legacy Christian Academy. Eighth-grade left-hander Bryce Fleming stepped onto the mound with a presence, using his fastball and an occasional devastating change-up that the Knights could not overcome. Fleming threw three no-hit innings and collected eight strikeouts, while surrendering an unearned run during his first start of the season.

David Torres led the onslaught of hitting by the Bulldogs as they were unleashed on the unsuspecting Knights. Torres and Fleming each had three hits in as many at-bats. Edwin Harrah blasted a double to go along with singles from himself, Aaron White and Finn Turnmire. The Yellow Springers ran wild on the basepaths, collecting an unbelievable 21 stolen bases. The Knights, on the other hand, did not have any success; the pitchers and catcher Graham Turnmire made sure of that.

Finn Turnmire and seventh grader Henry Babb came in to finish the job in the last inning for the Bulldogs. The scoreboard read 13–4 for the up-and-coming home team when the mercy rule was finally applied.

Continue to check the Yellow Springs Athletics site at athletics.ysschools.org to keep up with the ever-changing schedules of the middle school, junior varsity and varsity baseball teams. The current schedule for varsity baseball will also be updated on the Metro Buckeye Conference site at metrobuckeyesports.com.

—Coach Mitch Clark

TRACK

Bulldogs persist at frigid first meet

The Yellow Springs High School boys and girls track teams began their season last Wednesday in frigid weather at the seven-team Springfield Shawnee meet. Both teams are very young, with only two seniors in the entire program, and were also at less than full strength as spring break cut the number of participants in half. Nevertheless, both teams performed admirably in this highly competitive meet — many of the Bulldogs in this initial meet set new personal bests.

On the girls side, the Bulldogs finished in fifth place. Junior Tiger Collins earned two runner-up finishes in the high jump and long jump, along with a seventh-place effort in the 100 hurdles. Sophomore Llnyah Grant ran to a third-place finish in the 100 meters and fourth place in the 200 meters. Grant also anchored the girls 400-meter relay team to a fifth-place finish, along with teammates Isabella Espinosa, Gema Paz-Brizuela and Lilliana Sylvester. Sophomore Sasi Drees completed the distance double of 1,600 meters (fifth place) and 800 meters (sixth place). Paz-Brizuela placed fifth in shot-put and Espinosa placed seventh in long jump, also earning points for the girls team. Addison Shafeek competed admirably in the discus and shot-put, and ran a strong leg on the 800-meter relay team.

On the boys side, 11th grader Terrel Robinson hurled the discus to a seventh-place effort in addition to running a strong leg on the 400 relay team. Evan Galarza had personal bests in discus and shot-put, along with sprinters Kiernan Anderson, Collin Calfee and Morris Wyatt in the 100 and 200 meters. Newcomers Logan Cooper and Elijah Gish ran competitive races in the 800 meters.

Coaches Isabelle Dierauer and John Gudgel commented that, despite less-than-normal weather conditions, each of the athletes jumped, ran and threw to the best of their abilities. The Bulldogs’ next competition will take place on Friday, April 5, at the Cedarville Impson Invitational. 

—Coach John Gudgel

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