Clinch a conference championship, do it at home and do it against your rivals. Not a bad night for Centerville as they clinched a South Central Conference title after defeating Albia 11-1.
“We needed a game like this to keep saving pitchers. The guys were really focused Tuesday night so it was disappointing we got canceled but they brought the same mentality tonight and it showed,” Centerville head coach Ryan Hodges said.
Centerville got things started early, getting back to back RBI doubles from Merrick Mathews and Walker White to go up 2-0 after one inning.
They would then extend their lead with another two runs in the third inning on a McCain Oden RBI triple followed by a Mathews sacrifice fly. Oden fell just short of hitting for the cycle, going 4-for-4 with two singles, a triple, a home run and three RBIs.
That home run was unconventional as it was an inside-the-park homer in the fifth inning as Oden blasted one to deep left-center before racing around the bases.
The Big Reds would score four in the fifth before walking off with three runs in the sixth inning with Mathews, who had three RBIs on the night, activating the run rule with a RBI sacrifice fly.
Besides Oden and Mathews, Kayden Kauzlarich was also responsible for three RBIs for Centerville after going 2-for-4.
Brady Kauzlarich started on the mound and would help save some Centerville arms after pitching all six innings, giving up one run on five hits with three strikeouts.
Centerville win their first SCC title since 2014 when they had a perfect 19-0 conference record.
“We checked one of our goals with the win, winning the conference. But the guys know now it's time to lock in on our next goal. It's nice to clinch the conference title at home,” Hodges said.
No. 8 Centerville (16-2) will hit the road to face Clarke (5-19) in a doubleheader on Friday at 5:30 p.m.