Roundup: Trenton trounces Hamilton; Bronson wins, too

Trenton's Jonathan Ward, right, celebrates with Michael Smith after scoring a run against Hamilton County on Tuesday.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 12:08 a.m.

TRENTON — While the final score at Tiger Field may not have warranted a sigh of relief Tuesday, Hunter Parrish let out one anyway.

After four straight losses in the playoffs, Trenton was finally advancing to the next round — a feat Parrish and several of his fellow seniors have tried to accomplish since they were in the eighth grade.

In 4 1/2 innings against Jasper Hamilton County, the Tigers compiled nine hits from eight batters and played errorless defense to beat the Trojans, 12-0, in the Class 1A, Region 2 semifinals.

Though Hamilton County came into the regional semifinals off an 11-0 loss in their District 5 final to Melody Christian, Parrish said his team's previous near misses served as useful reminders to not take the Trojans for granted.

“Last year, of course, we got knocked out in the first round by Mayo (Lafayette), who we had already 10-run ruled earlier in the season, so it feels great to get past this point,” Parrish said. “Now we don't have to worry about looking back to last season.”

The Tigers (24-1) wasted little time earning their 13th win by 10 or more runs this season by scoring five in the first inning on the Trojans (7-12). Hamilton County's three pitchers, including starter Kaleb Sadler, walked six total batters with a combined five passed balls and suffered countless errors from their infielders.

“That's hampered us all year,” Hamilton County coach Bobby Eason said. “We've made a lot of errors, and again, that bit us tonight. We got behind five runs from the get-go, and you can't do that against a quality team.”

Parrish, who had two RBIs and two stolen bases while batting cleanup, was joined on base by five Tigers batters to score a pair of runs. In the fourth inning, Stephen Smith's lone hit of the evening, a two-run homer over the right-field fence, supplied the Tigers with their final 12-run margin.

On the mound, Jonathan Ward (7-0) and Kyle Wiggins combined for a no-hitter against the Trojans with just two batters reaching base on a walk and an outfield error. Ward, a junior, retired nine straight batters and struck out two before being relieved by Wiggins.

“Ward had a great outing, and he was prepared to go seven,” Trenton coach Todd Bryant said. “We were able to score enough runs to get him out of there in three innings, but he was throwing strikes.”

Trenton hosts Friday's Region 2 final at 7 p.m. against Bronson (14-10), a team it beat three times this season and outscored 32-6. In their last meeting on April 26, the Tigers defeated the Eagles, 9-0, to claim the District 6 title.

Class 1A-Region 3 semifinal: At Live Oak, Tim Gibson did a little bit of everything to ensure Bronson (14-10) advanced to Friday's regional final, as the Eagles beat Melody Christian 3-1.

Bronson will play at Trenton, which defeated Hamilton County 12-0 Tuesday, on Friday. Trenton (24-1) defeated Bronson 9-0 in the district title game. Friday's winner advances to the state tournament.

Gibson (8-6) threw a complete-game three-hitter, while striking out four and walking only two. At the plate, Gibson added an insurance run with a two-out, RBI single in the sixth inning.

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