BEVERLY - After being no-hit through six innings, the Fort Frye lineup was finally able to rally for three runs in the bottom of the seventh but ultimately came up short as Magnolia held on for the 5-3 victory.
Blue Eagle right hander Zach Wilhoit tossed six innings of no-hit baseball before getting into trouble in the final frame.
Down 5-0, Casey Hall led off the seventh with an infield single to third base, the Cadets' first base hit of the contest. Derek Layton followed with a sharp single to left field to put two on with nobody out.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Fort Frye center fielder Spencer Lang (2), shortstop Chandler Lang (31), and second baseman Colton Shuster (10) converge, trying to haul in a Texas leaguer against Magnolia during non-conference baseball action in Beverly Friday night. The Cadets lost 5-3.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Fort Frye righty Brad Martin delivers a pitch homeward to a Magnolia batter during non-conference baseball action in Beverly Friday night. The Cadets lost 5-3.
After Caden Brooker was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Brad Martin grounded to first but the throw to home plate was under-thrown, allowing Hall to score Fort Frye's first run of the game.
Magnolia's Kyle Elliot relieved Wilhoit on the mound and proceeded to walk Tanner Rice on five pitches to plate Layton.
Elliot recovered by forcing the next two Cadet batters to pop up, bringing up Spencer Lang with the bases loaded and two outs. Lang grounded to the shortstop, but the toss to second base was off the mark, allowing Brooker to cross the plate and make it a two-run game.
MAGNOLIA 5, FORT FRYE 3
Magnolia (19-1) 110 030 0 - 5 13 3
Fort Frye (13-5) 000 000 3 - 3 2 5
WP: Zach Wilhoit 6IP, 5SO, Kyle Elliot (Save) 1IP, 1BB
LP: Brad Martin 7IP, 2SO
Magnolia: Ryan Walton 3-4, 1RBI, 2B, Chandler Sapp 1-4, 1R, Elliot 1-4, 2R, Wilhoit 2-4, 1RBI, Tanner Hanna 3-4, 1RBI, Chase Miller 1-4, 1R, 1RBI, 1SB, Grant Cain 2-4, 2B, Lemasters 0-0, 1R
Fort Frye: Casey Hall 1-3, 1R, Derek Layton 1-3, 1R, Caden Brooker 0-2, 1R, Tanner Rice 0-1, 1RBI
Next game: Fort Frye at Morgan at 11 a.m. (DH) Saturday.
Needing a base hit to tie the game, Chandler Lang launched a line drive to left field. The Magnolia left fielder initially misjudged the ball and it appeared it would go over his head, but he was able to recover and make a leaping catch to end the game.
Martin went the distance for the Cadets, striking out two batters and issuing no free passes.
"I thought Brad pitched a pretty good game," said Fort Frye head coach Sonny Bidwell. "What Brad really does well is he throws strikes and give you a chance."
The Cadets committed five errors in the field to the Magnolia's three.
"We've still got to get better defensively," Bidwell said. "Too many errors.
"Cut down a couple errors, don't give them the base runners and I think it's a 3-2 game."
For the Blue Eagles, Ryan Walton and Tanner Hanna collected three hits apiece. Wilhoit and Grant Crain each added two base knocks. Overall, the team put 13 in the hit column.
"A good team like that, they're gonna hit the ball," Bidwell said. "They're gonna stroke it very well."
Walton led off the game with a single up the middle, but was caught stealing. Later in the inning, two Fort Frye errors would lead to a run for Magnolia.
The Eagles tacked another in the second, as a double to left-center by Walton brought home Chase Miller to make it 2-0.
The Cadets had opportunities to cut the deficit without the benefit of a hit.
Spencer Lang led off the first inning by reaching on an error, and Colton Shuster would lead of the third with a hit-by-pitch. Both runners would get to second base via sacrifice bunts, but were stranded there both times.
Four hits in the top of the fifth inning allowed Magnolia to put up a three spot and make it a 5-0 game.
The Dave Cisar-coached Blue Eagles improved to 19-1 with the win, while Fort Frye fell to 13-5.
The Cadets are back in action Saturday when they go to McConnelsville to play a doubleheader against the Morgan Raiders. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.