CHESHIRE, Ohio — The first game following a milestone, the Meigs Marauders conducted a class in Baseball 101.
As in the 101st career coaching victory for five-year Meigs skipper Brent Bissell, who won his 100th career contest on Saturday at Warren.
On Monday, in returning to Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division action, the visiting Marauders mustered a 7-0 shutout of the River Valley Raiders at Cheshire Field.
The Marauders put on an offensive and pitching clinic, scoring five second-inning runs followed by two more in the seventh.
It was more than enough run support for sophomore pitcher Christian Mattox, who mowed the Raiders down with 15 strikeouts and only allowing two hits.
Meigs moved to 17-3 with the win, and continues to lead the TVC-Ohio at 9-1 — with arguably its two toughest league tilts left.
One of those is today (Wednesday, April 27) against visiting Wellston, which is tied with Alexander for second-place in the division at 6-2.
That’s because Alexander fell into that second-place tie, thanks to losing at Athens on Monday by a count of 4-3.
A win over Wellston would not only eliminate the Golden Rockets from the TVC-Ohio championship chase, but Meigs — the defending division tri-champion — would clinch no worse than a share for the crown.
But that’s today, while on Monday the Marauders completed the season sweep of the Raiders.
River Valley fell to 8-9 — and 2-6 in the TVC-Ohio with the loss.
Mattox, in fact, retired the Raiders 1-2-3 in the third, fourth and fifth frames — part of 13 consecutive at one point.
He saw the minimum three Raiders in the opening inning, and faced four batters apiece in innings two, six and seven.
Of his 15 strikeouts, Mattox fanned for all three outs in the second, third and fifth — and K’d two apiece in the fourth and sixth.
Justin Sizemore on a single in the first, Austin Ragan on an error in the second, Dillon Ragan on a triple in the sixth, and finally Austin Ragan on a walk in the last were the only Raider baserunners.
Mattox also helped himself with a pair of triples, including in the seventh inning that drove in the seventh run.
In the second, Meigs erupted for five runs on five hits, four of which came consecutive off Ragan.
With one out, Alec Bissell walked, K.J. Tracy singled, and Mattox reached on an error.
That set up a bases-clearing double by Kaileb Sheets, as Chase Whitlatch drove him in with an RBI-single.
Cody Bartrum then doubled, and Layne Acree ended the scoring spree with an RBI-single for the 5-0 lead.
Tracy tallied two singles and Bartrum two doubles, as he also doubled in the sixth.
Acree and Bissell both walked twice, as Luke Musser reached on a leadoff walk in the seventh, followed by Tracy taking first on an error.
After six-and-a-third innings, and after allowing seven runs on 10 hits with six walks, Austin Ragan was relieved for Dillon Ragan for River Valley.
Mattox’s triple in the seventh was the only hit Dillon Ragan allowed.
The Marauders, which played Philo on Tuesday in a non-league tilt at Marietta College, host Wellston today in a critical TVC-Ohio bout.
River Valley, which hosted Rock Hill on Tuesday in a non-league makeup matchup, travels to Nelsonville-York today for another TVC-Ohio duel.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106