RACINE, Ohio — Not nearly as close the second time around.
After claiming a 7-4 victory just 24 hours earlier, the Wahama baseball team turned the sequel into something even better than the original on Thursday night following a 7-0 decision over host Southern in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup at Star Mill Park in Meigs County.
The visiting White Falcons (5-5, 4-3 TVC Hocking) handed the Tornadoes (6-3, 6-2) their first losing skid of the season as the Red and White used a monstrous second inning rally to all but seal the deal on the outcome.
After a scoreless first, WHS erupted for six runs in the top of the second — thanks in large part to three hits and three timely Southern errors that allowed the guests to send a total of nine batters to the plate in the frame.
Tyler Bumgarner started things with a one-out walk, then scored all the way from first on a single from David Hendrick that got past the SHS rightfielder as Hendrick ended up on third base for a 1-0 advantage.
Hendrick later scored on an error that allowed Nyles Riggs to reach safely with two away, then Colton Arrington was hit by a pitch and Jared Oliver singled to load the bases.
Philip Hoffman then came through with a bases-clearing double to make it a 5-0 contest, then Hoffman ended up trying to reach third on a late relay throw. The throw to third skipped past the defense and out of play, which allowed Hoffman a free pass to home plate for a 6-0 contest midway through two.
The Tornadoes — who mustered only two hits in the setback — made their biggest push for a rally in the third as Ryan Acree and Clayton Wood provided back-to-back one out singles to put runners on the corners, but WHS came up with consecutive outs in the next two at-bats to get out of the inning unscathed.
Wahama added an insurance run in the fifth as Hendrick grounded out to second, which allowed Wyatt Edwards to come plateward for a 7-0 contest after five frames.
The White Falcons outhit the hosts by an 8-2 overall margin and also committed only one of the five errors in the contest. Southern stranded only four runners on base, while the guests left nine on the bags.
Dalton Kearns was simply dominant in picking up the winning decision after allowing just two hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out four. Blake Johnson took the loss after surrendering seven runs (one earned), five hits and five walks over 4.2 frames while fanning four.
Hoffman and Hendrick paced Wahama with two hits apiece, followed by Arrington, Oliver, Kearns and Bumgarner with a safety apiece. Hoffman produced a team-high three RBIs as well for the victors.
Acree and Wood had the lone hits for the Tornadoes, who produced only six baserunners in the entire contest.
Wahama played at Wirt County on Friday and returns to TVC Hocking action Monday when it hosts Belpre at 5 p.m.
The Tornadoes return to TVC Hocking action Monday when they travel to Miller for a 5 p.m. contest.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.