SPRINGFIELD, OH – Closing in on the final playoff spot in the Ohio River Valley Division, the Champion City Kings swept the West Virginia Miners to pull within one game of the Johnstown Mill Rats for the second half title. Gabe Carter (Huntington, WV; Rio Grande) and Kyle Mahon (Centerville, OH; Wittenberg) picked up wins, Johnathon Ray (Sylvania, OH; Tiffin Univ.) recorded his first save, and the offense compounded twenty-one hits through two games.
In Game One, the Kings struck first in the fourth inning. Picking up his first hit and pair of RBI, Cole Brennan (Cincinnati, OH; Rio Grande) doubled in two to strike first. Brennan would then come home from an Evan Lorey (Howell, MI; Spring Arbor Univ.) RBI single. The Miners would chip into the 3-0 lead in their share of the inning, and it was 3-1 favoring the Kings. Two more runs scooted home in the sixth inning for Champion City, with Trey Carter (Wheelersburg, OH; Rio Grande) and Edrick Padilla (Salinas, Puerto Rico; Ohio Wesleyan) getting RBI singles. Trey Carter struck again with another RBI hit in the seventh, putting the Kings up 6-1. West Virginia scored three more runs in their seventh to close the deficit, but Ray entered to retire the only batter he’d face for the save.
For the first game, Connor Lockwood (Libertyville, IL; Valparaiso) got the start and three three shutout innings, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out three. Gabe Carter picked up the win with 3.2 innings, allowing four earned runs off of three hits, three walks, and striking out five. Johnathon Ray threw seven pitches, but struck out the only batter he faced.
For the second game, West Virginia wasted little time striking against Kyle Mahon, who was making his first start of the season. A pair of errors on the shortshop had them at the corners with one out, and a groundout brought in the first run. The Kings tied it up in the second inning, starting a streak of at least one run per inning. It was a bases-loaded RBI fielder’s choice from Alex Scoular (Whitby, Ontario, Canada; Rio Grande) that brought home the newest King in Jake Sherman (Newark, OH; West Liberty Univ.) The Miners led off their third with a home run, but the Kings took over from there.
In Champion City’s third, which chased away the Miners’ starter, Edrick Padilla picked up a 2-RBI single to give the Kings the lead. Bringing in the next two runs was Joel Gardner’s (Poca, WV; West Virginia Univ.) triple. Scoring the last run of that fateful third was Ben Stuart (Mason, OH; Evansville) grounding out to score Gardner. The Kings led 6-2 after three. While the Miners got the deficit back down to two shortly, the Kings would score the last four runs. Padilla scored another RBI on a fielder’s choice, Lorey picked up another RBI hit, and Connor Lockwood got his first hit as a King with a deep double to score one. A wild throw from right field would score Lockwood after Joel Gardner got another hit, and the Kings won 10-4.
Pitching-wise in the second affair, Kyle Mahon scooped up his second victory with 5.1 innings thrown, four runs, three earned, on three walks, four hits, while striking out four. Tyler Wynkoop (Huber Heights, OH; Toledo) finished the game up, striking out five in 1.2 innings, allowing no runs, no hits, and three walks.
With the DH sweep, the Kings sit at 12-12 in the second half. That puts Champion City one game back of the Johnstown Mill Rats, who arrive in Springfield for two games at Carleton Davidson Stadium. These will be the biggest games of the season for both sides, as the Kings and Mill Rats face each other for the last time in 2022. For tickets, PLT links, and more, keep it here to championcitykings.com!