ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio —Halfway home to an outright league championship — and still perfect at the same time.
Indeed, those are the scenarios facing the undefeated Meigs High School baseball team, as the Marauders moved to 11-0 overall and 6-0 in the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division — following Thursday’s 9-2 makeup win over the visiting River Valley Raiders.
At the halfway point of the double round-robin league rotation, in which Meigs has played the other six TVC-Ohio squads once, it remains atop the division standings.
The Marauders won three league games this past week with Thursday’s win, following a 2-0 victory over Alexander on Monday and a 4-1 win at Wellston on Wednesday.
Meigs shared the division title with Alexander and Athens last season, and begins the back half of league play on Monday at Athens.
In defeating River Valley, which fell to 4-6 and 1-3 in the league, Meigs led 5-0 through the opening five innings — before erupting with four runs on five hits in the sixth for the 9-2 final.
Meigs scored twice in the first — and once apiece in the second, third and fourth frames for its midway 5-0 advantage.
The Raiders — against Marauder pitcher Cody Bartrum — got two runs in the sixth when Dustin Barber and Devin McDonald both walked, and Jamie Bainter reached on a 4-6 fielder’s choice as Barber and Bainter both scored on a wild pitch.
However, in the bottom of the sixth, the Marauders promptly answered off Raider pitcher Dillon Ragan, collecting basehits on their first five at-bats and scoring four more runs.
Christian Mattox, Kaileb Sheets and Chase Whitlatch led off with doubles, followed by Bartrum with an RBI-single.
Sheets drove in Mattox and Whitlatch scored Sheets, as Layne Acree also singled for the fifth straight hit.
The Marauders rapped out a dozen hits off Ragan, who also walked two and struck out four in going the distance on the mound.
Mattox and Whitlatch singled and scored in the opening inning, as Mattox had a two-out single to score Luke Musser — who reached on an error — in the second.
Whitlatch led off the third with a walk, then scored on an RBI-single by Bartrum.
In the fourth, K.J. Tracy, Sheets and Whitlatch all singled — with Sheets driving in Tracy for the 5-0 lead.
Musser also reached on a walk in the sixth.
Meanwhile, Bartrum was on cruise control on the pitcher’s mound, striking out a dozen Raiders — including for all three outs in the first inning and for two outs apiece in the second, third and fifth.
He retired the Raiders 1-2-3 in the second and fifth frames, and faced the minimum three in the fourth and last.
He faced four Raiders apiece in the first and third, scattering only three hits in gaining the complete-game win.
Besides the baserunners in the sixth, Bainter reached on the Marauders’ only error in the first, followed by singles by Ragan in the third, Austin Ragan in the fourth, and finally Bailey Rhodes in the seventh.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106
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