Linsly Tops Fort Frye, 8-1, in OVAC Baseball; Will Play for Championship
WHEELING — Kobe Hill was the king of the hill and Adam Och launched a 3-run home run as Linsly defeated Fort Frye 8-1 on Saturday in the OVAC 3A Semifinals.
Linsly will move on to the championship to face Martins Ferry with the date and place to be decided.
Linsly enters the game with 21 OVAC titles, including the last two in a row and eight of the last 11, while Martins Ferry will be searching for its second in school history and first since 2002.
In the semifinal, Hill singled to lead off the game and scored on an error. However, he was injured on a pickoff attempt at first.
It didn’t seem to phase his performance as he struck out nine and walked two in a complete-game, two-hitter to lead the Cadets back to the championship.
“It’s funny because I wasn’t too sure if I was going to be able to finish the game,” Hill said. “In the first inning my forearm got stepped on while diving back to the bag. It started swelling up pretty bad but the confidence that my coaches had in me led to me finding a rhythm because I knew my teammates and coaches believed in me.
“I love my teammates and coaches and I’m so happy to be able to advance to the finals.”
Linsly coach Jay Cartwright never doubted his top pitcher.
“He was really tough (Saturday) and that’s what we wanted out of our senior ace,” Cartwright said. “He’s got velocity and he can locate pitches. He’s tough on hitters and he’s thrown against some really good teams this year.”
After Hill scored the initial run of the game, Och delivered his first RBI on a groundout to plate Zac Taylor for a 2-0 upperhand.
An error and a RBI single by Kellon Fogle in the second allowed Fort Frye to cut the deficit in half but it proved to be the only run of the game for Fort Frye.
Linsly added a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth — all on Fort Frye errors — before Och broke the game open in the sixth with a three-run blast over the center field fence.
“I got down in the count early and I was expecting a curveball,” Och said. “He threw a low fastball instead and that’s kind of my pitch. I like it low. I thought the center fielder was going to grab it but it snuck out.”
That power is nothing new from Och.
“He’s been solid for us all year,” Cartwright said of Och. “He hits it to the middle of the field and doesn’t try to pull everything. He’s got bat speed and the ball jumps off his bat. That’s what we saw (Saturday).”
Along with Hill’s pitching performance and Och’s strong day at the dish, Jack Scouvart supplied a pair of singles in the Linsly triumph.
250 Wins for Cartwright
Last week, Cartwright picked up his 250th career win. Despite the personal success, he gave credit to everyone around him.
“I’ve been very fortunate,” Cartwright said. “I have good ball players and kids who love the game. Our assistant coaches are really tremendous and we have a lot of families who support us, so it’s not just me. A lot of people have contributed to this.”
“My mentor, Gary Sprague, who I coached under for a long time, I learned a lot from him, too.”