Versailles baseball blanks Milton-Union for tournament win


By Drew Terhall

VERSAILLES — The one seed Versailles Tigers baseball team won their first postseason game with a 5-0 win over 16th seed Milton-Union on May 16 at home in the OHSAA Division III Baseball Southwest Sectionals.

Head coach Brad Koopman said these tournament games are one of the harder ones to win. The team hasn’t played in a while and the opposing team is going to come at you with all they got.

“Sometimes that’s one of the tougher ones. You come out, we had a little bit of a lay off. We didn’t play since Saturday. It’s been a little bit,” Koopman said. “It’s the tournament. You’re always going to get some of their better guys so we had to fight for this one.”

Senior AJ Griesdorn shut down the Bulldogs on the mound. He pitched all seven innings and only allowed three hits, walked three batter and struck out three batters.

He never let many base runners on at a time. Milton-Union got a guy on base here and there, but they couldn’t get enough on to put pressure on Griesdorn.

Koopman said Griesdorn said after the game he didn’t have his best game. If that’s his worse, Koopman is confident the team will be fine.

“(He) struggled a little bit. But if that’s your struggle, then we’re doing alright. He battled through it, took care of it and the defense picked him up,” Koopman said.

Junior Jace Watren got the Tigers on the board in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs, he hit a RBI single to center field to bring in a run.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, junior Chase Monnin poked a ball into left field to drive in a run to go up 2-0.

Both of those runs started with junior Ross Francis getting on base. Koopman said Francis battles every time he’s up to bat and can set up his teammates by finding ways to get on base.

The Tigers made solid contact throughout the game, but couldn’t find open space. Koopman said he thought the team didn’t hit overly bad, just got a under a few balls and Milton-Union made some good plays defensively.

Versailles made some great plays too. Senior Michael Osborne slid to his right on a pop up to get an out. Versailles ended the top of the third inning after Watren caught a fly ball and found his cut off man in Osborne who relayed it over to senior Joel Gehret to get the base runner out.

Versailles scored some insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Watren came through again with two outs and hit a two-run double. Koopman said like Francis, Watren can grind out at bats and get his pitch.

“He’s (Watren) been a tough out all year. Two strikes doesn’t seem to faze him most days. He still fights through every at bat. He fights, battles, fouls stuff off until he gets a chance and comes through,” Koopman said.

The team then closed it out in the seventh inning to move on in the tournament.

Versailles will host seventh seed Anna on May 20 at 5 p.m. in the District Semi-Finals. Koopman said the team has to go out and fight to earn their victories in this tournament.

The Tigers did defeat Anna, 10-0, on the road on April 19.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected].

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