NORTH ROBINSON - South Central practiced patience for better than four hours Wednesday while Colonel Crawford officials were putting the field in shape after a rogue shower dropped a half-inch of rain on the field. The Trojans then went out and manhandled Bucyrus Wynford, one of the best baseball programs in northwest Ohio, 12-3 Wednesday in a Division IV district semifinal.
The win puts Darren Hunt's team (19-7) into a district final at 5 p.m. Friday against either Buckeye Central or Crestline, both from the North Central Conference.
The second game Wednesday was pushed back to today. The winner of Friday's contest moves into the Elyria regional tournament May 24 and 25.
"It was cold but it didn't seem to bother my team that much," Hunt said in talking about the long afternoon wait. "This is a laid-back bunch, but one that has showed signs of rising to the occasion against quality opponents."
That was certainly the case on Wednesday as the Trojans smacked around Wynford's best, senior Chad Snyder, sending him to right-field already in the second inning. They then worked over sophomore Brock Commer for five more runs before getting a look at senior Mike Hassinger who came on in the sixth.
What South Central needed to have happen, getting on the board quickly and putting some heat on Wynford, did. The Trojans scored twice in the first, making the most of some shoddy Royal fielding and a RBI single by Ben Wheeler.
After Wynford (17-4) got a run back in the bottom of the inning off South Central work-horse R.J. Ringer, the Trojans came right back with five in the second, sending eight to the plate. Four straight hits off Snyder after one out, forced Wynford's second-year coach Travis Moyer to come to the rescue of his ace. Snyder's replacement, Commer, was greeted first by a two-run single by Dustin Gahring and then a shot by Ben Wheeler that plated two more.
South Central did not rest on that 7-1 lead either. The Trojans came out swinging again in the third, scoring four more times with the big blow being a bases-clearing, three-run double that hit off the bottom of the fence in left, a husky accomplishment considering Osborn's blow was into into a gale.
Now Ringer had a real cushion at 11-2 and he was more than up to the task in retiring 11 in a row at one point.
It wasn't until the sixth with two out that Wynford escaped the 10-run mercy rule by narrowing the deficit to 12-3.
The Trojans banged out 13 hits. Osborn, Jordan Smith, Ben Wheeler and Ian Franks all had two. Everyone pitched in, though, including the bottom two in the order, Tom Parcher and Brandon Boyd. They both scored in the second and the third.
Ringer threw 86 pitches but was firing as hard in the end as in the beginning.
"Winter workouts are important to me," Ringer said. "It gets the arm ready for a long season. I had good stuff today. It's always nice to have a defense behind me like those eight guys bring every game. It allows me to throw a lot of fastballs that challenge the hitters."
Ringer, 8-1, allowed seven hits while striking out four. He walked one.
With Ringer having just three innings left as per the state rule, Hunt will go with left-hander Bret Bond Friday and if he needs help, it will probably come from Boyd.
WP: Ringer. LP: Snyder.
2B: Gahring (SC), Osborn (SC), Hassinger (W), Snyder (W).