Edison’s run ends in district title game

FIELDING — Edison’s Brandon Boyd gets ready to make a throw after fielding a ball during Wednesday’s district final. (Photo by Rick Thorp)

MAGNOLIA — For the final five innings of Wednesday’s Division III East District final, Ridgewood was just about as dominant as a high school baseball team can be.

The Generals sent 35 batters to the plate during that span, collected 14 hits and limited Edison to two.

Ridgewood’s 14-0 triumph against the Wildcats at Sandy Valley High School secured the school’s second consecutive district championship, one that came as a result of besting the district’s top two teams in a span of three days.

The Generals (21-9) will get a week off before heading to Mount Vernon High School for next Thursday’s regional semifinal against either West Jefferson or Johnstown Northridge. They’re slated to play at 5 p.m. today.

“We played two very good clubs this week in Barnesville and Edison,” Ridgewood head coach Chad Lahna pointed out. “You never know how they’re gonna go because you don’t know about the opposition coming into them.

“In both games, we showed up, first and foremost, with our pitching and defense. And, just like they had all season, that kept us in the game until we were able to get some hits.”

The Generals started the game with a pair of successful bunts — one down each baseline. Although the first inning didn’t yield a run, Lahna felt his team’s aggressiveness set the tone for what was to come.

“After that second inning we were able to string some hits together and get some separation,” he said.

Ridgewood sent nine batters to the dish in the third, scoring five times. The big blow came off the bat of No. 8 hitter Colten Hursey, as his single plated a pair.

Edison head coach Mike Collopy pointed to the frame as a turning point.

“Those five runs,” he said. “They had some hits that got down, and there were some plays that we didn’t make defensively. When that happens against a good team you give them a crease, and that’s kind of what happened. It kind of snowballed from there.”

The Generals scored two more times in the fourth and sixth, before finishing the game with a flourish with five in the seventh.

Memphis Cutshall recorded a two-run double during the seventh, followed by a single by Connor Kruze that also scored two.

“Ultimately, what we’ve asked from our guys — and that includes our guys on the bench — this group is a very unselfish group,” Lahna said. “There are people on the bench that haven’t played an inning this year and they don’t complain, they don’t pout. They just show up for work every day. We’re fortunate to have the guys we do on this team.”

While Ridgewood’s prowess at the plate drew the most attention, Generals pitcher Koleton Smith had himself a day, too. He fanned just two but only allowed two hits, walked one and hit a batter.

“We ran into a good team, and we didn’t play well,” Collopy said. “There’s no other way to put it. I don’t think coach Lahna gets the credit he deserves. Every year they’re in contention.”

The Wildcats (21-7) fell in the district final for the second time in three years. However, Collopy praised his squad for another fine season, which included another sectional crown and appearances in the OVAC and Buckeye 8 finals.

“That’s baseball,” he said. “I told our guys it’s just one of those days. Unfortunately, it came at this point. It’s not a reflection of them or the season we had.”