FAIRBORN — Jacob Monnin pitched a complete game Thursday with six strikeouts and no walks to help lead Northmont to a 6-2 sectional semifinal victory over Fairborn.
The Thunderbolts opened the game with hot bats. Tanner Lee hit a lead off double for the visiting Bolts and Landon Hill followed with a single to advance Lee to third. A wild pitch allowed Lee to score and Hill to reach second. Brandt Cronebach followed with a double to score Hill. Cameron Reaman got hit by a pitch and Anthony Ragan reached via an infield hit. Austin Kossoudji singled to right field to score Cronebach and Reaman to give Northmont an early 4-0 lead.
Monnin got off to a shaky start beaning Fairborn lead-off hitter Mark Rich. After that he settled down and retired the side. Fairborn’s only other highlight was a pair of solid home runs by 6-foot-4 Ryan Profitt who jacked one out of the park to right center in the bottom of the fourth and a deep shot to right field in the home half of the sixth. Both pitches were low and away, but the lanky Profitt managed to give both a ride over the fence.
“It’s not a big deal when a guy hits a solo home run, but I’ve got to give Profitt all the credit in the world. Those were good pitches, both of them that he hit. He just turned on them,” said Northmont Coach Chuck Harlow. “But he is not the story today. Jacob Monnin is the story. He did a heck of a job out there on the hill. He battled them whole way and did a great job. Even the pitches he gave up on the home runs were good pitches.”
Northmont increased its lead to 5-0 in the top of the 4th inning. Anthony Ragan led off with a bunt single, and then stole second and third. Kamden Rottgen drew a walk and Tanner Lee reached on an infield hit to score Ragan.
In the home half of the 4th Profitt hit his first homer to cut Northmont’s lead to 5-1 and then belted his second homer in the bottom of the 6th to make it 5-2.
The Thunderbolts got an insurance run in the in the top of the 7th. Kossoudji legged out an infield hit and advanced to second on a single by Cole Stephens. A botched attempt to pick-off Stephens at first sailed into foul territory allowing Kossoudji to race home from second to make the final tally 6-2.
“We got some great hitting and we made some great plays out there in the outfield and Rottgen made a big play at second. It was pretty good night,” Harlow said.
With the victory Northmont advances to face Tecumseh on Thursday at Bellefontaine High School. The Arrows (12-15) pulled off a 4-3 upset of No. 2 seed Vandalia-Butler (22-4) at the same time the Thunderbolts were defeating Fairborn. When told of the upset Harlow was in disbelief.
“I will believe that when I see it. I hope you’re right,” Harlow added. “We don’t care who we play. We just have to get ready, go to the next game and see what happens. As far as today’s game, that Josh Patrick is the best dag gone young coach in America. He has taken this dead end program and made it as competitive as hell. He’s a great coach and has a great staff.”
Leading Northmont’s attack was Tanner Lee who went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, one run and one RBI. Brandt Cronebach went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, one run, one RBI and a stolen base. Anthony Ragan went 2 for 3 with a walk, one run and two stolen bases. Austin Kossoudji went 2 for 3 with a walk, one run and two RBI. Cole Stephens went 1 for 4 and Landon Hill went 1 for 3 with a run.
NMT 400 100 1 – 6 10 1
FBN 000 101 0 – 2 06 2
Ron Nunnari can be reached at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind