Lancers spoil Belpre Senior Night

BELPRE -When Joe Richards became Federal Hocking’s third head coach of the season three weeks ago, he brought with him energy and a renewed spirit.

The rest of the Lancers are catching on and with the exception of a hiccup against Wahama last Friday, are stringing wins together.

Their latest achievement occurred on Belpre’s senior night at Civitan Park where Federal Hocking accounted for six doubles in an 8-1 victory.

“I wanted to bring some stability -I knew they were going through some stuff,” Richards said after his Lancers improved to 11-6. “I feel a lot better about heading into postseason after today. I was a little squirmish after Friday, but now I feel pretty confident.”

Jon Rose led the hitting brigade with a 3-for-4 effort, including two doubles and three runs batted in. His two-run double in the top of the first inning help put the Lancers in front 4-0 before Belpre even took its first at bats.

“Today was a little bit of revenge,” Rose said. “They came to our place earlier in the year and stomped us.”

Contributing heavily to Federal Hocking’s 10-hit output was Noah McCune going 4-for-4 with a double and an RBI. The Lancers belted out five hits with runners in scoring position through the first three innings and built a 5-0 lead.

“We came out aggressive right from the start,” Richards said.

Federal Hocking tacked on single runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings, while Belpre’s only run occurred when Alex Perry scored from second base on an infield error in the fifth inning.

With Ohio Division III sectionals beginning Wednesday for both schools, coach Richards wanted his pitchers to get some work. Starter Devin Maxey allowed just one hit and struck out the final three batters he faced in his two innings of work. Earning the win was the first Lancer reliever, Pete Crum, who scattered three hits, walked two and struck out while surrendering one unearned run in three innings.

The final pitcher of the bunch was Rose, who set down the first four Golden Eagles he faced and finished with one hit allowed in his two innings.

Perry produced the lone multi-hit game for Belpre after finishing 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base.

Golden Eagle starter Ryan Epperly lasted just 2 1-3 innings before getting lifted with five runs and seven hits charged against him.

Five errors did not help the cause as Belpre slipped to 8-14 with a sectional game at Rock Hill scheduled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Federal Hocking’s next opponent is at Chesapeake, also on Wednesday.

“Hopefully, tonight made our kids mad because sometimes they play better when they are mad,” coach Terry Mullen said.