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At the Metro Buckeye Conference track meet Saturday, May 11, Gema Paz-Brizuela won third place in shot put. (Photo by Kathleen Galarza)

Bulldog Sports Round-Up | May 17, 2024

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Varsity regular season ends

The varsity Bulldogs ended their regular season with two games against conference opponent Dayton Christian Monday and Thursday, May 6 and 9. The Warriors are a very strong Division III team, while the Bulldogs are a Division IV school, based on the number of enrolled students.

The first game started with the Warriors jumping out to a 1–0 lead in the first inning as they capitalized on a couple of walks off starter Mason Cline and a fielder’s choice that plated the game’s first run. The Warriors scored three in the third inning with back-to-back doubles. The score stood at 0–4 when the Bulldogs came to bat in the final frame. Isaac Grushon led off the inning with a hard-hit single to center field. Jake Ortiz-Thornton followed with a walk and things looked promising with power hitter Mason Cline strolling to the plate with fire in his eyes. He had held the Warriors at bay to this point and was determined to do damage with this opportunity.

Unfortunately, the aggressiveness on the basepaths came back to haunt the Bulldogs, as a line shot to center field narrowly missed hitting the ground when the Warriors fielder made a diving grab and followed with a bullet to second base, doubling off Grushon at second who was almost already to third base. Caleb Derrickson walked to keep the Bulldog hopes alive, but a hard ground out sealed the victory for the Warriors. The Dayton Christian coach was quite impressed with the play of his opponents, but it was difficult to console the heartbroken Bulldogs after yet another narrow loss. 

Thursday’s final regular season varsity game was moved to the Dayton Christian field in a pre-emptive move to dodge the weather. That move paid off, but the Bulldogs did not have enough left in the tank to overcome Dayton Christian. The Warriors started the Metro Buckeye Conference player of the year, Isaac Scanlon, and he showed why he earned that honor. He controlled the game from the start and did not allow the Bulldog hitters to breathe. Starting pitcher Ortiz-Thornton and reliever Derrickson battled valiantly on the mound but were unable to keep the Warriors off the board. The Bulldogs fell on the well-drenched field to this year’s conference champions.

JV ends on a high note

The obligatory rainout for the junior varsity team on Tuesday, May 7, washed away their game against Madison in Middletown. However, the JV players were more than ready when the skies finally cleared long enough on Friday, May 10, for them to host the Meadowdale Lions. This slugfest went back and forth, but when the smoke cleared and the time limit was reached, the young Bulldogs had come away with a hard-fought 19–11 win. Elias Hamilton broke out with three hits that included a run-scoring double, putting a smile on the faces of all the coaches, players, and fans in attendance.

“The hard work is paying off for these young men. I am so happy and proud of them,” Coach Sam Jacobs said.

The last day of the season for the JV team meant a double-header against Dayton Christian. The game was delayed for an hour to avoid the weather. It worked and the teams were able to get both games completed.

The first game was a rough one, as one of the varsity Warriors pitched and had little trouble putting away the Bulldogs, while his teammates rapped out hit after hit. The boxed chicken lunches were enough to help the Bulldogs forget the first game and fuel up for the second. The back-and-forth battle saw the Bulldogs hang with the Warriors throughout the game. The Bulldogs posted a huge 16-run game, but tensions were high in the final inning as the Warriors threatened to pull this one away from the Bulldogs.

No matter, as Sailor Shultz decided to take things into his own hands and make an unassisted double play at third base to end the game and exact revenge for the earlier defeat. The Bulldogs had beaten the mighty DC Warriors 16–11, giving them a winning record on the year and a wonderful birthday present to their coach.

McKinney completes a winning season

The middle school team endured yet another rainout on Thursday at Cedarville, which was already a makeup game of an earlier season rainout. They were ready for their matchup against — you guessed it — Dayton Christian. The players were full of energy as they had just witnessed the huge win by the JV team. However, that energy may have worked against them early as Bryce Fleming allowed three runs in the first inning. That was not enough to deter this group of players as they pounded out hit after hit to take a 7–4 lead after two innings.

The hard-hitting Warriors were not willing to go down in this brawl either, putting up five runs in the third and seven in the fourth, to take an 11–16 lead into the fourth inning. The Bulldogs posted another run in the top of the fifth inning, but it was too little too late as the game was called due to time constraints. This young team finished the season with an impressive 7–5 record against some very good competition and made coaches Scott Fleming and Nathan Collier proud with their consistently fine play and good attitudes.

—Coach Mitch Clark


Babb is conference ‘Athlete of the Year’

The Metro Buckeye Conference, or MBC, softball coaches met last week to vote on individual awards, and the Bulldogs team was well-represented, as four players were named to the MBC First Team, one was named to the MBC Second Team and senior Violet Babb was named as the MBC Conference Athlete of the Year.  It was the second year in a row that Babb has won the honor. 

“Babb had another outstanding year,” Coach Jim DeLong said. “Her four-year career batting average at Yellow Springs is an incredible .655, with 10 homeruns and 117 RBIs.” 

It was a year to remember for Babb, as she was the MBC batting champ with a league-leading .710 batting average and was first in the MBC in RBIs, doubles and triples.

Bulldogs players named to the MBC Conference First Team were Ella Laws, Adeline Zinger and Nevaeh Smith. Tavey Johnson was named to the Second Team. Junior Isabella Millhoan was also honored, as she was named to the MBC All-Sportsmanship team.

“Our team was well-represented in the MBC Conference awards  — it’s a reflection on our team and how well the season went,” DeLong said.

The Bulldogs received one other award: DeLong was named the MBC Conference Coach of the Year.

Bulldogs lose tournament game

The softball team played a sectional tournament game at Twin Valley South and fell behind 0–3 in the first inning. Twin Valley South gradually increased the lead each inning as the Bulldogs lost by a score of 10–0.  It was the first time the Bulldogs had been shutout all season.  DeLong commented on the hitting, saying: “Ironically, we struggled hitting today because the Twin Valley South pitcher was pitching slow and our hitters were off-balance trying to wait for the pitch.”

Babb and Johnson contributed hits for the Bulldogs and Babb and Smith played outstanding defense for the Bulldogs.  The tournament game marked the last game of the season for the team and the Bulldogs finished the regular season with an 8–2 record.

—Coach Jim DeLong


Bulldogs perform well at MBC meet

The YSHS Track Teams hosted the annual Metro Buckeye Conference track meet this past Saturday, May 11. The girls team finished in third place, while the boys squad ended up in sixth place.

The girls had a long list of season-best performances and high finishes.

Sophomore Llnyah Grant crowned herself as the sprint champion of the MBC with first place victories in the 100 and 200 meters; she complemented her wins with a runner-up effort in the long jump and anchored the 400-meter relay quartet of Liliana Herzog, Isabella Espinosa and Lilliana Sylvester to a third-place run. Junior Tiger Collins leaped to a first place in the high jump.

The depth of the girls team was illustrated by third-place achievements for Isabella Espinosa (100 hurdles), Gema Paz-Brizuela (shot put), Liliana Herzog (long jump) and Addison Shafeek (discus).  Fourth-place points were earned by Rebecca DeWine (3,200), Herzog (100 hurdles), Espinosa (high jump) and the 800 relay team of Abebu Barnett, Espinosa, Shafeek and Collins. Sasi Drees contributed to the scoring effort in the 3,200 along with Sylvester (shot put), Barnett (400 meters) and Paz-Brizuela (discus).

The boys squad was beset by illness as four members of the team did not compete, which affected the final score. Senior Kyle Raymer, running his final race on the home track, hurdled his way to a runner-up effort in the 300 hurdles, while the quickly assembled 400 relay team of Kiernan Anderson, Evan Galarza, Nick Washington and Morris Wyatt passed the baton around the track to a third place. Kyle Johnston continued his personal best times in the 1600 meters (sixth) and 3,200 meters (fourth), while Galarza heaved the shot for a fifth-place finish, along with hurling the discus to sixth place.  The 1,600 meter relay group of Anderson, Raymer, Wills Oberg and Nick Washington ended in fifth place.

Coaches Isabelle Dierauer and John Gudgel were complimentary of the efforts and unselfish attitude that was on full display by all of the athletes. The Bulldogs compete in the finals of the District meet at Graham High School on Saturday, May 18.

The McKinney girls track team won the league championship this past Saturday, with a solid all-around performance.

—Coach John Gudgel

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