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Champion outlasts LaBrae in AAC Blue battle, 9-2

By Joe Simon-Tribune Chronicle, 05/02/19, 12:00PM EDT

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LEAVITTSBURG — Two of the All-American Conference’s best pitchers — and old friends — went head-to-head in a key Blue Tier matchup Wednesday.

Champion’s Andrew Russell and LaBrae’s Malakai Roberts matched up, and oddly enough, the recent soggy weather may have been the difference for the Golden Flashes.

Champion strung together a late rally against Roberts and finished things off against the Vikings’ bullpen in a 9-2 victory in Leavittsburg.

The Golden Flashes (9-3, 8-1), who lead the AAC Blue Tier, had 11 hits — including four doubles and a triple — and much of the damage came against the hard-throwing Roberts. Part of the reason is they’re used to facing a hard-throwing right-hander.

“They’re not afraid to hit,” Champion coach Rick Yauger said of his team. “They face good pitching. They see good pitching when we go live inside in Winter Haven (Champion’s indoor complex). They face Russell and they face Abraham Bayus, the big lefty who’s going to throw (today). So they’re used to seeing good pitching and hitting against good pitching. And there’s a lot of good pitching in this league.”

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All-American Conference

The All-American Conference is an OHSAA-sanctioned league, created in 2008 as the result of the merger between the Trumbull Athletic Conference and the Metro Athletic Conference in Ohio. The league has 21 different member schools, with 17 sports offered throughout fall, winter and spring sports seasons.