RACINE, Ohio — Defense was the difference.
The Southern and Waterford baseball teams each had six hits in Friday’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division clash at Star Mill Park, but the host Tornadoes committed five errors on the night, allowing the Wildcats to escape with a 6-1 win.
The Wildcats (15-6, 12-3 TVC Hocking) scored the game’s first two runs in the top of the second inning, taking advantage of two SHS (8-11, 7-6) errors. WHS scored once in each the fourth and sixth innings, making the lead 4-0.
Southern cut the deficit to 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth, as Logan Drummer scored on a Clayton Wood double. However, Waterford scored twice in the top of the seventh to cap off the 6-1 win.
Isaac Wagner earned the pitching victory for WHS, allowing one earned run on six hits and one walk, while striking out three batters in a complete game effort.
Trey Pickens — who struck out three batters in six innings on the mound — was the losing pitcher of record, surrendering six runs on five hits and three walks. Dylan Smith pitched the final frame for SHS, striking out one batter, while allowing one hit.
Smith singled twice to lead Southern offensively, while Wood had one double and an RBI. Drummer singled once and scored once in the setback, while Blake Johnson and Logan Dunn each singled once for the Purple and Gold.
Braden Bellville led the guests with three hits and three runs scored, while Montana Brooker doubled once and scored once. Clay Hayes and Cameron Bosner each singled once for the Green and White, while Isaac Huffman and Bryce Hilverding both scored once.
The Wildcats — who didn’t have an error in the win — also topped Southern on April 12, by an 8-3 count in Washington County.
The Tornadoes return to the diamond on Monday, when they resume play in a TVC Hocking tilt at South Gallia.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.