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Potters prep for Beaver by topping Clippers

East Liverpool’s Anderson Fitch swings during a game at Columbiana on Friday. (Photo by Anthony Fiuza)

COLUMBIANA — East Liverpool made plays when it mattered most and got revenge against Columbiana for a 5-4 victory on Friday.

The Potters scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning as Mason Ludwig singled to left field. Evan Tice scored easily as Paxton Grimes was forced out at second during the play. Grimes went 2 for 4 and had an RBI for East Liverpool.

With runners on the corners, East Liverpool (11-13) got a much-needed insurance run as Trent Davis had an RBI double.

This was only the second extra-inning game for the Potters this season, but both games came against the Clippers. Unlike the previous matchup, East Liverpool came out on top. Columbiana (16-7) beat East Liverpool, 2-1, in 10 innings during a meeting earlier this season.

“It’s always good to get a win. They’re a really good baseball team…it was nice to be on top this time. We got some good work from extra guys, some guys that don’t see a lot of time. It was nice,” East Liverpool head coach Brian May said.

The Potters held a 3-1 advantage after the fourth inning, but the Clippers clawed back with two runs in the sixth frame to tie it up. Regardless, East Liverpool never trailed the entire game which is a big plus according to Ludwig.

“This whole year we’ve struggled when we’ve been down. We just try to keep our heads up and stay positive as we fight through it,” Ludwig said.

“It’s a big win, especially going into the game tomorrow versus Beaver Local in the first round of the playoffs. There’s nothing better than heading into the playoffs with a win.”

Columbiana rallied in the sixth thanks to RBI singles by Logan Hoschar and Brady Kridler.

“We’ve had a lot of games where we’ve been down, come back, and come back again. We don’t win sometimes, but it’s the name of the game,” Kridler said about the tough loss.

The first baseman also said this defeat can propel the Clippers to greater heights.

“We know that this is a big game. We have to go into the playoffs with the mindset that we can win against any team we play. We just have to battle and capitalize,” Kridler added.

Game notes

¯ The Potters will host Beaver Local at 1 p.m. today for a Division II sectional opener. May said the keys to beating Beavers is to throw strikes and hit the baseball. “If we can hit the baseball, I think we can play with anybody,” he said.

¯ Columbiana will host the winner of East Palestine and Mooney in a Div. III sectional final at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

¯ Through the first three innings, neither team recorded a hit or a run.

EL: 0-0-0-3-0-0-0-2 — 5-6-1

C: 0-0-0-1-0-2-0-1 — 4-11-3

EL — Derek Klein, wp (41/3IP, 4H, R, BB, K), Paxton Grimes (12/3IP, 3H, 2R, 0BB), Jake Smith (2IP, 4H, R, K). and Evan Tice

C — Zachary Pleska, lp (7IP, 4H, 3R, 0ER, BB, 13K), Logan Hoschar (IP, 2H, 2R, ER, BB, K) and Alex Eusebio.

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