Defending champion Mustangs rally to nip Trojans in Class B2 semifinal contest

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 26 May 2022 at 7:34 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Xander Payne had a big day both at the plate and on the mound for Medina during today’s sectional semifinal win at Southwestern.

Defending champion No. 6 seed Medina rallied to edge past host No. 2 Southwestern 5-4 this afternoon in the semifinals of the Section VI Class B2 playoffs.

Trailing 4-1, Medina got back into the game on a two-run single by Richard Keppler in the fourth inning as a leadoff single by Aidan Paul and an error set up the threat.

The Mustangs then rallied into the lead at 5-4 in the fifth inning as a leadoff home run by Xander Payne tied the game and Joe Cecchini and Zach Fike followed up with back-to-back doubles to plate the game winner.

Payne also had a big day on the mound. Coming on in relief, he allowed just 1 hit and struck out 5 over the final four innings. He registered a clutch strikeout to end the sixth as the Trojans left a runner stranded at third base.

Breaking away from an early 1-1 deadlock, Southwestern but up a 4-1 lead on a two-run single by Kenyon Davidson in the second inning and a home run by Judd Harris to lead off the third.

Now at 19-3 on the season, Medina will  face Niagara-Orleans League rival Roy-Hart in the B2 championship game at 12 p.m. Saturday at Grand Island. The Mustangs and Rams shared the N-O title at 10-2 after splitting a pair of league meetings.