CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Trailing 5-0 at the seventh-inning stretch, the Chillicothe Paints scored three in the seventh and three in the eighth to beat the Champion City Kings at VA Memorial Stadium 6-5 Thursday night, June 3.
Chillicothe (3-3) got a quality start Jake Norris, who allowed one run on two hits over the first six innings. Champion City (5-2) scored that run in the first inning. Brent Widder blooped a single into shallow centerfield to leadoff the game, moving to second when Treyben Funderburg was hit by a pitch. After moving to third on a flyout, Widder scored on a groundout by Mitchell Okuley, giving the Kings a 1-0 lead.
Trey Smith led off the bottom of the inning with a double, but the Paints were unable to bring him home. The score remained 1-0 until the seventh.
Chillicothe went to the bullpen, allowing four runs on just two hits. After a walk and a hit batter to start the inning, a wild pitch moved Alex Ryan to second and Alex Finney to third. A second wild pitch then scored Finney, moving Ryan to third. Brady Emerson walked and Widder signled to drive home Ryan. Two batters later, Ben Ross reached on a fielder’s choice. Okuley singled, scoring Widder and a third wild pitch in the inning plated Ross, giving Champion City a 5-0 lead at the stretch.
In the bottom of the inning, after the first two Paints hitter struck out swinging, pinch hitter Ryley Preece walked and stole second base. Trey Smith followed with a walk and Alex Ludwick then doubled, scoring Preece, getting the Paints on the board. Mitchell Vincent, another pinch hitter, followed with a two-run double, scoring Smith and Ludwick, cutting the Kings’ lead to 6-3.
Chillicothe Pitcher Brad Dunn entered the game in the eighth, throwing a scoreless inning, keeping the Paints within striking distance.
In the bottom of the eighth, Ben Gbur doubled to leadoff the inning. After one out, Nathan Karaffa and Jimmy Allen both walked, loading the bases. After a pitching change, Preece doubled, scoring Gbur and Karaffa. Smith followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Allen, giving the Paints their first lead of the night at 6-5.
Ruben Ramirez retired the Kings in order in the ninth, striking out one batter, earning his first save of the season. Dunn (2-0) earned the win for the Paints.
Nash Mose (1-1) took the loss for Champion City, allowing all six Chillicothe runs over two innings. He allowed 3 hits, walking four and striking out three.