McARTHUR — The Vinton County Vikings pulled off one of their biggest wins on the baseball diamond in a number of seasons when they defeated the Athens Bulldogs, 3-0, back on April 17.
The result ended a 31-game Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division game winning streak for Athens, and vaulted Vinton County into the league race.
Athens has since won the TVC-Ohio outright, but a third meeting between the two top teams in the league awaits after the Southeast Ohio District Athletic Board recently released the 2019 sectional baseball tournament brackets.
Athens received a No. 2 seed in Division II, and will host a sectional semifinal game on May 13 at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs’ opponent will be Vinton County, which received a No. 7 seed.
The winner will host a sectional championship game on May 16 at 5 p.m. against either No. 3 Zane Trace or No. 6 Gallia Academy.
Athens and Vinton County split the season series, with the Bulldogs taking a 12-4 decision back on April 1 at Rannow Field.
Jack Cornwell pitched a complete game for the win on that day, with Zach Bartoe taking the loss for the Vikings.
Ash Abele pitched a complete-game shutout in the Vikings’ 3-0 win in the rematch. Reece Wallace pitched well, but took the loss for Athens.
It was a loaded sectional for Athens and Vinton County, as all nine teams had at least .500 records. The lowest seed was Jackson, which was 11-11 at the draw. The No. 1 seed went to Unioto, which was 15-4.
The complete brackets can be viewed at seodab.org.
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Kevin Wiseman is the sports editor of The Athens Messenger.