VERSAILLES – Versailles advanced to the sectional championship game of the Ohio High School Athletic Association baseball tournament by run ruling Greeneview 12-0 in five innings on Thursday.
Versailles quickly took the lead in Thursday’s game with a run in the bottom half of the first inning. Keaton McEldowney got a bunt single, Brett McEldowney walked and Kurtis Rutschilling reached on an error to get the Tigers’ offense going. Austin Knapke then drove in Keaton McEldowney with a RBI to right, giving the Tigers the only run they needed on the day.
Versailles added to its lead in the second when Jared Niekamp singled, advanced on a sacrifice grounder by Kyle Subler and then scored on a Greeneview error, making it 2-0.
The Tigers’ big inning came in the third when they exploded for 10 runs. Brett McEldowney, Rutschilling and Knapke started the rally with three consecutive singles, bringing in a run for a 3-0 lead.
Cole Niekamp then singled to drive in two and increase the lead to 5-0. Collin Peters followed that up with a RBI double, making it 6-0 and prompting a Greeneview pitching change.
After the pitching change Jacob Watren and Jared Niekamp drew back-to-back walks. Subler reached on a fielder’s choice, which drove in Peters for a 7-0 advantage. Keaton McEldowney then drove in two runs, making it a 9-0 game.
The rally continued as Brett McEldowney hit a RBI double, increasing the lead to 10 runs. After Greeneview got the second out of the inning, Knapke singled to drive in a run and make it 11-0. Cole Niekamp then walked and Peters singled to bring in the game’s final run, making it a 12-0 margin.
Versailles finished the game with 12 hits and one error. Greeneview had two hits and four errors.
Brett McEldowney pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on two hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Jacob Heitkamp pitched 2/3 of an inning in relief, allowing no runs on no hits, no walks and one strikeout.
Offensively Knapke went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs for Versailles. Brett McEldowney was 2-for-2 with a double, a walk, a RBI and two runs. Keaton McEldowney was 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBIs. Peters was 2-for-3 with a double, a run and two RBIs.
Cole Niekamp went 1-for-2 with a walk, a run and two RBIs. Jared Niekamp was 1-for-2 with a walk and scored a run. Rutschilling was 1-for-3 and scored a run. Subler scored a run and drove in a run. Watren walked and scored a run.
Versailles now advances to the sectional championship game against Arcanum at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Carlisle High School. That will be a rematch of the Tigers’ second game of the season when Cole Niekamp and Peters combined for a no-hitter in a 12-0 five inning Versailles victory.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.