Zane Trace's tournament run came to a close Thursday at VA Memorial Stadium, when Wheelersburg scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to gain a 4-3 come from behind win over the Pioneers.
The young Pioneers battled perennial district champ Wheelersburg toe to toe the entire game and never trailed the Pirates till the home half of the sixth. Zane Trace scored a run in the second and two in the third to lead early 3-1.
Pioneer Senior Jeremy Brooks was solid on the mound giving up only four hits through the first five innings. Two of the Pirate runs scored on pitches that got to the backstop including the Wheelersburg game winner in the sixth.
Zane Trace scored first on a walk to Brooks, a fielders choice and long double to left by Josh McCorkle. Chad Ison drove in the run with an infield hit off the pitcher.
The Pioneers scored twice more in the third but it looked like they might score more. Cam Farley tripled, Isaac Beam singled him home and Austin Chaffin singled. After Brooks bunted the runners over, Ryan Winans reached when the Pirate first baseman couldn't corral his liner. ZT had a run in and the bases loaded with one out.
Then came a key play and strange play to end the inning. McCorkle lined a ball to shortstop. Pirate Jalen Miller short hopped the ball. Winans at first broke for second. Meanwhile ZT runner Ty Shanton started back to second not sure if the liner was caught. Wheelersburg threw the ball to second gaining a force out and evidently also tagged Shanton for a double play. There was a long discussion and the runner at third was ruled to have scored before the double play was allowed.
A Miller double to the wall led to a Pirate run in the third and it was 3-2. Sophomore Jay Carter came in from right field to pitch in the third and shut down the ZT offense with only one hit in the final four innings.
Wheelersburg won it in the sixth on a double by Darnell and an RBI single by Cole Dyer two tie the game at 3. Dyer wisely advanced to second on the throw home. He advanced to third on an infield hit. Brooks looked like he was going to keep it tied when he worked a pop up to the infield for the second out. With the nine hole hitter up for the Pirates and two out, Brooks' pitch glanced off McCorkle's glove and Dyer raced in with the winning run.
Carter allowed a two out hit to Farley but worked a final ZT fly out in the seventh to get the win in relief.
Freshman Farley had two hits, McCorkle notched the double, Austin Chaffin had a single, and Ison and Beam had RBI base hits for the Pioneers.
Zane Trace finishes with a 20-11 record and a bright future with a talented young team. Wheelersburg advances to play either Berlin Hiland or Martins Ferry on Saturday.