Brock Netter, Staff Writer
Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.
PERU, Ill. — For the first time since 2019, the Chillicothe Paints will play in the Prospect League Championship Series.
Despite committing three errors and a slow start, the Paints scored five runs in the fourth inning and punched their championship series tickets with a 7-4 victory over the Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp — winning the Prospect League’s Eastern Conference championship.
“Outstanding game. Not ideal from the get-go. But in the fourth inning, we scored five. Just an outstanding job by everybody involved,” Paints manager Jackson White said. “I’m so proud of these guys, no matter what happens over the next few days. I love these guys and I’m proud of them. They’re great baseball players but they’re better people. That’s what I just let them know after the game.”
The Paints trailed 4-0 after the second inning after giving up an RBI groundout, a two-run double and an RBI double. However, they fought back in the fourth inning and brought new life to the dugout.
Nate Dorinsky hit an RBI double, Jake Reifsnyder followed with an RBI groundout, and Brett Carson ripped a two-run single to tie the game at 4-4.
Then, Santrell Farmer notched an RBI double to put the Paints ahead and they never looked back.
Reifsnyder scored on a passed ball and Gianni Passarell hit an RBI single for insurance in the seventh to put the finishing touches on the evening.
Nick Lallathin earned the win in 4 2/3 innings of work, striking out four hitters.
Carson finished 1-for-4 with two RBIs while Farmer went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Dorinsky, Reifsnyder and Passarelli each added an RBI as well.
Chillicothe will now take on the Alton River Dragons in the Prospect League Championship Series, which is a best-of-three format.
Game 1 will happen on Thursday in Alton, Ill. before the two clubs head to Chillicothe for Game 2 at VA Memorial Stadium on Saturday. If needed, a winner-take-all Game 3 will take place on Sunday in Chillicothe.