You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Early runs carry Shawnee past Graham

Written on a dry-erase board in the home dugout Thursday at Gary Flora Field were six words to live by for the Shawnee baseball team: “Do or die time! Brave strong.”

The Braves hadn’t won a tournament game since 2009, meaning no one on the current team had experienced postseason success on the diamond. If any team had the potential to break that streak, it was this one, and Shawnee proved that to be true with a five-run first inning on the way to a 6-3 victory over Graham in a Division II sectional semifinal.

“This is the best team we’ve had here in four years,” senior Andrew Young said. “We’ve always been a high seed and have always gotten upset. We’ve got the core guys to do it. It’s going to be exciting.”

Third-seeded Shawnee (16-10) will play No. 6 Kenton Ridge (14-13) in the sectional final at 5 p.m. Thursday at Urbana. The Braves swept the Cougars 4-3 and 4-3 in the regular season.

There was little doubt from the start that Shawnee would get past No. 9 Graham (8-19). The Braves had six hits in the first inning. Three were infield singles.

Jordan Huggins started the rally with a hard shot off Graham pitcher William Wells. Huggins came around to score on a fielder’s-choice groundout by Evan Lyons. Young added an RBI single, and then T.J. Skaggs drove in two with a double. Skaggs scored the fifth run of the inning on a Graham error.

“That put them on their heels,” Young said. “They were shell-shocked.”

That was plenty of run support for Shawnee starter Derek Zinkhon (4-2), who didn’t give up a hit until the sixth when the Falcons broke through for three runs thanks, in part, to two Shawnee errors.

“Getting those five runs really boosted my confidence level,” Zinkhon said.

Zinkhon struck out six, walked three and gave up two hits in seven innings.

“He prepared himself really well,” Shawnee coach Andy DeWitt said. “He was ready. There was pretty much no question who I was going to go with tonight because he’s got experience. He had good velocity. When he hits his spots and goes at batters and makes them swing the bat, he can be really successful, and tonight he started off really well for us.”

Shawnee scored one more run in the fifth, and Young gets all the credit for that. He stole second, third and home. He was racing for home on a squeeze play. Zinkhon missed the bunt, but Young scored anyway.

“I’ve never done that before,” Young said. “The third baseman was playing pretty deep. I got a walking lead. I was about halfway down the line before the kid even threw the ball.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in

What to watch this weekend in sports
What to watch this weekend in sports

The NFL’s conference championship games are this weekend, but that’s not all.  Here is what you’ll want to watch this weekend in sports:  Archie Miller’s crew plays host to Saint Louis at 2 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.  No. 2 Louisville is at No. 10 Florida State on ESPN at 2 p.m.  At 4, flip it over to CBS...
March Forecast I: Where the Dayton Flyers stand in race to March Madness
March Forecast I: Where the Dayton Flyers stand in race to March Madness

It’s never to early to think about the NCAA tournament. Seven weeks before Selection Sunday, here’s a rundown of where the Dayton Flyers (14-4) stand in the minds of the experts as they seek a school record fourth straight trip to the big dance. With an RPI of 26, Dayton’s chances look good at this point, but its shortage of top-50...
Bengals sign kicker Brown
Bengals sign kicker Brown

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said there will be an open competition for the kicking job in 2017, and the team announced the first participant in that battle today with the signing of Jonathan Brown to a Reserves/Future contract. Brown originally joined the Bengals in May as an undrafted college free agent, but he suffered a foot injury...
Falcons player’s wife goes into labor during playoff win
Falcons player’s wife goes into labor during playoff win

Chipper Jones wasn’t the only Atlanta sports figure anxiously awaiting the birth of a child. Falcons offensive guard Andy Levitre and his wife, Katie, were also expecting a birth.  As the Falcons played the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday in the NFC Divisional playoff game, Katie Levitre went into labor while watching the game at...
Recruiting roundup: Nick Saban hits area, Danny Davis connects with Wisconsin, MSU moving on Dunbar, etc.
Recruiting roundup: Nick Saban hits area, Danny Davis connects with Wisconsin, MSU moving on Dunbar, etc.

When you play football as well as we do in the Miami Valley, colleges are bound to want some of your players.  Here’s a look at some of the latest developments on the recruiting front.    A 247Sports composite four-star, Davis is the top-rated senior in the area who has not verbally committed.  Earlier this week, he told Rivals...
More Stories