Liberty-Benton hasn’t won a Blanchard Valley Conference baseball title since 2009.
The Eagles took a huge step toward correcting that situation, though, riding a balanced offense and outstanding pitching by Alex Harter to a 5-1 win over McComb on Wednesday in a mid-season matchup of league leaders.
Harter, a junior, allowed just one hit over six innings and struck out eight. Jared Neiling, L-B’s senior ace, struck out two in the seventh as the Eagles remained unbeaten overall (11-0) and in the BVC (5-0).
McComb, now 9-2, is 4-1 in the BVC. Arlington (9-3, 4-1) and Van Buren (9-2, 3-1) both won on Wednesday and remain in the chase as well.
McComb’s Clay Grubb matched Harter with an excellent game of his own, allowing just six hits and striking out seven. Three of those six hits, though, were RBI singles by Anthony Webb, Neiling and Tyler George as L-B capitalized on four walks and three McComb errors. Caleb Russell had two hits for the Eagles, who broke the game open with two-run rallies in the second and sixth innings.
Logan Meares had McComb’s lone hit.
McComb 000 010 0 — 1 1 3
Liberty-Benton 020 102 x — 5 6 1
WP — Harter. LP — Grubb. top hitters: (McC) Meares 1B. (L-B) Webb 1B, RBI; Neiling 1B, RBI; Russell 2-1B; George 1B, RBI.
records: McComb 9-2 overall, 4-1 Blanchard Valley Conference; Liberty-Benton 11-0, 5-0.
PANDORA — Jacob Basinger came up with the game-winning hit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to edge Cory-Rawson 5-4 in a Blanchard Valley Conference baseball game on Wednesday.
Seth Schmenk ripped a triple to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. Cory-Rawson pitcher Logan Cawley got the next two batters out before Basinger’s single plated the winning run.
Schmenk worked the final two innings to get the win allowing one unearned run on two hits with two strikeouts. Cawley worked 51/3 innings allowing just one earned run on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts for the Hornets (1-7 overall, 1-2 BVC).
Jared Tousley had a pair of singles and an RBI for the Rockets (6-6, 2-2). Devin Meyer had a pair of hits and two RBIs and Matthew Alspach added a double for Cory-Rawson.
Cory-Rawson 110 100 1 — 4 10 2
Pandora-Gilboa 040 000 1 — 5 5 3
WP — Schmenk. LP — Cawley. top hitters: (C-R) Alspach 2B; Meyer 2-1B, 2 RBI. (P-G) Tousley 2-1B; Basinger 1B, RBI.
records: Cory-Rawson 1-7 overall, 1-2 Blanchard Valley Conference; Pandora-Gilboa 6-6, 2-2.
HARDIN NORTHERN 0
VANLUE — Nick Hagerty pitched a one-hit shutout over five innings as Vanlue picked up its first Blanchard Valley Conference win of the season by knocking off Hardin Northern 10-0 in baseball action on Wednesday.
Jason Summers doubled, singled and drove in a run for Vanlue (2-6, 1-4 BVC), which scored six runs in the fourth inning. Jacob Coldren and Austin Hord each had an RBI single, and Dominic Crafts hit two singles.
Kyle Lamb singled for Hardin Northern (0-9, 0-4 BVC).
Hardin Northern 000 00 — 0 1 3 Vanlue 200 62 — 10 8 2
WP — Hagerty (2-2). LP — Deckling. top hitters: (Van) Summers 2B, 1B, RBI; Crafts 2-1B; Coldren & Hord 1B, RBI.
records: Hardin Northern 0-9 overall, 0-4 BVC. Vanlue 2-6, 1-4.
ARLINGTON — Zachary Durliat hit two singles and drove in a run, while Jordan Freed and Kyle McDowell each had a double and two RBIs to lead Arlington past Arcadia 8-2 in Blanchard Valley Conference baseball action on Wednesday.
Tyler Richards (3-1) picked up the win and doubled and singled at the plate as well for Arlington (9-3, 4-1 BVC), which scored four runs in the fifth inning to increase its lead to 8-1.
A.J. Lentz, Hayden Ramsey and Chad Baker each had a single for Arcadia (1-8, 0-5 BVC).
Arcadia 000 101 0 — 2 3 1 Arlington 130 040 x — 8 9 3
WP — Richards (3-1). LP — Enders. top hitters: (Arc) Lentz, Ramsey & Baker 1B. (Arl) Durliat 2-1B, RBI; Richards 2B, 1B; Freed & McDowell 2B, 2 RBI.
records: Arcadia 1-8, 0-5 BVC. Arlington 9-3, 4-1.
VAN BUREN 9
VAN BUREN — Van Buren’s Jameson Jacobs earned the win both on the mound and at the plate as the Black Knights kept their Blanchard Valley Conference hopes cooking with a 9-8 extra-inning win over Leipsic.
Jacobs got the win with 72/3 innings work on the mound. He also clinched it at the plate with a game-winning walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Jacobs also singled in a run in the fifth inning when Van Buren, down 6-0 at the time, rallied for five runs. The Black Knights (9-2, 3-1 BVC) rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh, tying the game 8-8 on an RBI single by Isaac Sexton.
Ross Adolph had a two-run triple, while Payten Whitticar had three hits and Dre Conner and Justin Phillips two each.
Dylan Schey had three hits and Gavin Cupp and Alex Ellerbrock added two each for Liepsic (4-10, 1-2 BVC).
Leipsic 420 001 100 — 8 11 2 Van Buren 000 050 301 — 9 14 5
WP — Jacobs. LP — Henry. top hitters: (Leip) Selhorst 1B, RBI; Cupp 2B, 1B, RBI; A. Ellerbrock 2-1B, 2 RBI; Schey 2B, 2-1B, RBI. (VB) Adolph 3B, 2 RBI; Jacobs 2-1B, 2 RBI; Sexton 1B, RBI; Conner 2-1B, RBI; Whitticar 3-1B; Phillips 2-1B, RBI; Turner 1B, RBI.
records: Leipsic 4-10 overall, 1-2 BVC; Van Buren 9-2, 3-1 BVC.