Ontario Knocks Out Clear Fork For District Championship
The highly anticipated third meeting between Ontario and Clear Fork on the baseball diamond to decide which Richland County program would move on to compete at regionals overflowed the stands at Heise Park in Galion for a Sunday night battle that wouldn’t disappoint under the bright lights.
After being rained out at Heidelberg University on Saturday afternoon, the game was moved to Galion where over 1,000 estimated fans came out to watch the Division II District Championship showdown that saw the Warriors extend their incredible winning streak to 24 in a row with a 12-7 victory over the Colts.
Clear Fork lit up the scoreboard first with a pair of runs in the top half of the opening frame but Ontario junior shortstop Avery Fisher smashed a 2-run bomb to square the contest in the bottom half, producing the Warriors first home run of the season. Both teams would generate runs in five of the first six innings of action but Ontario would post a crooked number in four of them, scoring two runs in the first, three in the second, four in the third and two more in the sixth. Seven Clear Fork errors would lead to seven unearned runs, however, as the Warriors had just eight hits and the Colts stranded 12 runners.
Clear Fork will graduate a talented senior class consisting of 11 players who were a part of back to back state final four appearances the last two seasons, finishing with a record of 20-7. Ontario (24-3) will advance to face Hebron Lakewood in the Bowling Green Regional Semifinals at Carter Park on Thursday at 5 pm.
Tournament Tested Colts Advance To 3rd Straight District Final
The same postseason narrative for Clear Fork’s baseball squad will continue for another playoff run as the under-seeded Colts have again qualified for the district finals with a 4-1 win over #2 Bellevue.
Clear Fork received an exceptional start from senior pitcher Jalen Sheriff who went the distance giving up 1 run on 4 hits with a walk and 3 strikeouts. The Colts defense did an excellent job backing up their clutch ace, holding the Redmen’s offense scoreless after they plated a run in the opening frame. All Clear Fork needed was one solid offensive outing to secure the win and they’d get that with a 4-run fourth inning highlighted by a 2 RBI single from Dylan Jewell.
The #7 Colts (20-6) now advance to play MOAC foe #4 Ontario (23-3) for the Division II Heidelberg District Championship on Saturday at 1 pm.
Galion Holds Off Clear Fork For District Title Shot
For a second consecutive season, the Galion softball squad will play for the Division III Lexington District Championship after defeating Clear Fork 6-5 in Wednesday’s semifinal matchup.
The Tigers got on the board first with an RBI single by Emily Sedmak in the opening frame and pounced on their MOAC rivals with a monster 5-run fourth inning. Maddy Harmon would get the scoring started with an RBI bunt single, Gabby Kaple would then come through for a 2-RBI double and 2 runs would score on a grounder to short by Nevaeh Clark.
Clear Fork would answer with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the 4th and added another run in the 6th to make it a 6-5 contest. The Lady Colts then put on a pair of runners to start the 7th but some stellar Galion defense would slam the door on a potential comeback.
The #4 Tigers (15-6) advance to face #2 Crestview (19-2) for the district crown while top-seeded Clear Fork wraps-up their season at 18-9.
Warriors Beat Colts For MOAC Title
The incredible win streak for the Ontario baseball squad continued Monday evening in their key conference showdown with Clear Fork, defeating the Colts 6-2 for their 19th consecutive victory.
The win also clinched an outright MOAC Championship for the Warriors who at 19-3 overall remain unblemished in league play at 12-0. The Colts (15-6, 8-3) had an opportunity to stay in the league title chase with a win but allowed five runs in the second inning courtesy of six fielding and throwing errors that allowed Ontario to build a sizeable edge.
Senior Luke Smith delivered on a pair of RBI singles for Ontario while senior reliever Will Watkins picked up the win and the save throwing 3 shutout innings allowing 1 hit and a walk while striking out 3 Colts batters. Watkins entered the game in a bases-loaded, no outs situation in the fourth inning and retired three straight Clear Fork hitters before again working out of a bases-juiced situation in the sixth.
Gottfried Notches 400th Win As Clear Fork Handles Galion
Coming off their only loss of the season following a 6-0 start, Galion found themselves in a tough place to try and produce some winning vibes again in the Clear Fork Valley.
The Lady Colts were swinging hot bats early to claim a 3-0 edge following the first inning of play with Macy Wade smacking a 2 RBI double and Courtney Palmer delivering an RBI single. Clear Fork then answered a Lady Tigers run in the top half of the third with three more runs as Whitney Snavely hit an RBI single followed by a 2 RBI single from the bat of Zara Thomas.
Lady Colts slugger Haylie Miller then crushed her 4th home run of the season in the fourth to make it a 7-1 advantage for the home team before Galion scored runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Clear Fork would then add an insurance run and freshman pitcher Maddy Wine got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to end the game with an 8-3 Lady Colts victory.
The win marks the 400th in the career of 19th-year head coach Jeff Gottfried who became just the 25th skipper in the history of the state to reach that milestone. His Clear Fork squad improved to 10-2 (2-2) on the season, dropping the Lady Tigers to 6-2 (3-2).
Tygers Bounce Colts For Sectional Title
Mansfield Senior claimed the Division II Bucyrus Sectional championship with a 67-57 win over former conference foe Clear Fork.
The Tygers featured a balanced scoring attack with 7 players contributing at least 6 points, led by senior BJ Patrick with 13, Christian Haney who added 12 and Breyon Mills with 11.
Senior forward Chance Barnett filled it up for a game-high 22 points in his final game in a Colts uniform while Brennan South netted 13 and AJ Blubaugh scored 11.
Hardwood Heroes: Ontario vs Clear Fork Boy's Hoops
With an opportunity to clinch the program's first league championship since 2002 the Colts came undone during the fourth quarter of action, falling at home to the Warriors 70-60.
Logan Jones filled it up with a game-best 19 points with teammates Logan Houle and Griffin Shaver each adding 14. Chance Barnett paced Clear Fork with 15 pts on Senior Night, who also received 12 apiece from Brady Tedrow and Brennan South.
Clear Fork vs Marion Pleasant Boy's Hoops Highlights
Marion Pleasant takes a crucial MOAC decision off Clear Fork in overtime with a 67-65 victory.
Nick Kimmel finished with 23 points including the game-winner with 30 seconds to play in the extra session. Chance Barnett dropped a game-high 27 pts for the Colts who had their 10 game winning streak ended.
Constructing A Season: Clear Fork Boy's Basketball
It's been said a change of scenery can often times lead to success and the guys at Clear Fork are proving that to be true in their new league environment.
Since leaving the Ohio Cardinal Conference for the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference last fall the Colts have enjoyed a league title in football with an 11-1 season and are now on the cusp of claiming their first conference crown in boy's basketball since 2002.
Join Brian Skowronski as he sits down with all five Clear Fork starters and coach Steve Bechtel to discuss the program's 15-3 campaign, newfound success in the MOAC and current 10-game win streak (not that any of them actually realized it).
Eye Catching Cuts: Clear Fork vs Ontario
Check out the Top-10 plays from Clear Fork's 53-48 overtime victory over Ontario to remain undefeated in MOAC play led by Chance Barnett with a game-high 20 points & Brennan South with 12 & 6 rebounds.
Freshman guard Griffin Shaver helped fuel a Warriors come back scoring a team-best 13 pts while senior teammate Logan Jones finished with 11 pts & 6 rebs.
Kurtz & McPeek Carry Flames Past Clear Fork
Mansfield Christian got a pair of monster performances from senior guard's Kyle Kurtz and Jared McPeek who willed the Flames to a stunning 84-72 upset of Clear Fork.