BELPRE, Ohio — One thing about a slow start, you always have time to recover.
The Southern baseball team surrendered three runs in the first inning to Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Belpre, but the Tornadoes rallied back to take the 8-4 victory, on Thursday night at Civitan Park.
The Tornadoes (4-7, 4-4 TVC Hocking) took a 1-0 lead, as Dylan Smith scored in the top of the first inning, but the Golden Eagles (4-9, 4-6) crossed the plate three times in the bottom half of the inning.
SHS chipped away at the deficit in the second inning when Wesley Clark walked and later scored. Southern stormed into the lead with five runs in the third inning, after combining three hits, three walks and one error.
Trailing 7-3, Belpre scored once in the bottom of the fifth, but the Tornadoes got the run back in the top of the sixth, and the Purple and Gold cruised to the 8-4 win.
Blake Johnson struck out five batters in six innings on the hill and earned the pitching victory for the Purple and Gold, allowing four runs on four hits and six walks. Trey Pickens pitched the final frame and earned the save, striking out one batter, while allowing one hit. Tavian Miller suffered the pitching loss for BHS.
Billy Harmon led the Tornado offense with two singles, two runs scored and one stolen base, while Garrett Wolfe and Logan Drummer each had two singles and one run scored. Johnson singled twice and stole one base, Clark added one single and one run scored, while Haden Miller singled once in the win. Smith scored twice and stole one base, while Pickens scored once for the Purple and Gold.
Bailey Sprague doubled once to lead Belpre’s offense, while Counts singled once and scored once. Gilbert, Davis and Klinger each singled once in the setback, while Tullius scored two runs and Miller scored one.
Southern committed six errors in the win, while Belpre had three.
Southern also defeated BHS on April 5, by a 11-2 count in Racine.
SHS will continue league play on Monday, when Trimble visits Star Mill Park.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.