Big Walnut outlasts Liberty in extras


By Michael Rich - For the Gazette



Senior JJ McLean had two hits, drove in two runs and walked three times to lead the Big Walnut baseball team to a 9-6 victory over Olentangy Liberty in nine innings in the second game of a non-league doubleheader Saturday afternoon in Powell.

He complemented his offensive effort with two shutout innings in relief on the mound to pick up the win.

“I had that first hit and drove in a couple of runs and just rolled from there,” McLean said. “I can’t recall the last time I’ve pitched on this team … maybe freshman year. I just came out looking to have fun and it all went well.”

The Golden Eagles scored three times in the ninth to take the lead for good after Liberty had come back from down six runs to tie it in the seventh and send it to extras.

“We seem to have one or two big innings and then we hold on tight,” BW coach Jack Schone said. “Our pitching has been pretty good all year … it’s just a matter of getting key swings when we need them. This is a good win.”

Carson Becker’s RBI double in the ninth gave the Eagles (6-6) the lead.

“We had three big hits and a nice squeeze – it’s nice to see,” Schone said. “JJ had a real big game today. He really hasn’t pitched all year and he came in and did a nice number. He’s a hustler … he’s all baseball. It’s nice to see those kinds of kids have success.”

Jackson Seiple had two hits and scored twice and Colton Lee drove in two with a double to cap a four-run second that gave BW the lead.

Michael Osmond had two hits and a walk and drove in a pair of runs, Brennan Rowe and Mitch Milheim had a pair of hits and a run each and Mitchell Okuley had a hit, four walks and a RBI to lead the Patriots (11-2).

“In reality – we’re a little disappointed that we didn’t win it in regulation,” Liberty coach Ty Brenning said. “We had our opportunities. In our two losses this year – we’ve out hit our opponents in both of them.”

Meanwhile, Liberty struggled to find pitching early, burning through a few arms in the first inning-plus before turning to Beau Foster, who struck out seven batters over the next four scoreless innings without allowing a hit.

“When you walk guys – it really multiplies any hit that they get in terms of significance,” Brenning said. “We just have to clean it up.”

Foster had already pitched 1.1 innings earlier against Mount Vernon.

“He was a dynamite guy for us,” Brenning said. “He came in and logged some innings that we needed in Game 2 and Game 1. He’s been real reliable all year.”

Milhelm held the Eagles hitless over the next two innings, walking three and striking out two as the Patriots made their comeback.

Brandon Brown pitched the ninth and took the loss for the Patriots (11-2) and Milhelm and Brennan Rowe each had a pair of hits to tie Osmond for the team lead.

Next up, both teams return to league play today at 5 p.m. BW travels to Franklin Heights in OCC-Capital action while Liberty welcomes Westerville Central in OCC-Buckeye play.

Olentangy Liberty 8, Mount Vernon 5

Junior Drew Lane took a no-hitter into the sixth before running out of gas, but by that point his offense had staked him to an eight-run lead in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday in Powell.

Lane walked a pair of batters in the first inning, which only served as a focusing mechanism. He retired 13 of the next 14 batters before MV’s Jack Davidson led off the sixth with a single to break up the no-hitter.

“I just wanted to keep attacking and try not to think too much about (a no-hitter),” Lane said. “I just wanted to keep doing the thing that I had been doing the whole time. I just focused on throwing strikes … and I just tried to keep a clear head.”

“Drew’s a kid we’ve got a lot of confidence in and he’s really worked hard the last year and a half,” Brenning said. “He typically throws a lot of strikes and today we were able to play some good defense behind. It’s always exciting when you can limit the other team to no hits.”

Nate Orr ended the shutout bid with a three-run homer after a walk and a strikeout. Nate Gleason added a RBI double later in the frame for the Yellow Jackets (4-5).

“He just got a little tired at the end so we had to go to Foster,” Brenning said. “(Overall), we’re real excited by the pitching performance.”

Rowe’s two-run single gave Liberty the lead in the first.

Corey Mayer led off the second with a home run before Craig Lutwen’s two-run double and a Corbin Parrish single and Rowe double pushed the lead to 7-0 through two.

Justin Nelson added a RBI single in the third.

Connor Curry added a solo home run in the seventh to account for the final margin.

“Our offense has been strong all year,” Brenning said. “There’s not a hole in our lineup one through nine. We’re going to make pitchers earn their outs … we really did that all day long.”

Watkins Memorial 9, Big Walnut 2

Gabe Shroyer had two hits, a walk and drove in three runs to lead Watkins to a win in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Olentangy Liberty to even the Schone Series at 1-1 after the Eagles took last year’s meeting.

Carson Becker had two hits and a RBI to lead the Eagles.

But, they couldn’t solve starter Thomas Gallant, who pitched five scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk with seven strikeouts for Watkins (10-2).

“We didn’t hit and their pitcher did a nice job,” Schone said. “I tell the kids all the time that it’s three simple things: you’ve gotta be able to catch, hit and throw better than the other team. One of those lacked and we’re gonna struggle.”

Noah Sprowls allowed four runs over four innings to take the loss for BW.

Olentangy 8, Teays Valley 7

Sutton Bucci hit a two-run double to give Olentangy a walk-off win over visiting Teays Valley Saturday in Lewis Center.

Tyler Karbler had two hits and two RBI and Ethan Kellner drove in a pair in the win.

Olentangy Orange 11, Liberty Union 0

Zane Lattig went 3-for-3 at the plate and tossed a complete-game shutout on the mound to lead the Pioneers to a non-league win Saturday at Lakewood.

Orange scored all 11 of its runs over the course of the first three innings.

Olentangy Orange 9, Lakewood 4

The Pioneers erased an early deficit with a three run fourth and rolled to a non-league win over Lakewood from there.

Jack Betz and Sam Till had two hits apiece while Grant Ogden picked up the win on the mound.

SOFTBALL

Arica Flaugher connected on a walk-off three-run homer to give Olentangy Liberty a 6-4 non-league win over Dublin Jerome in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

The opener also went the Patriots’ way as Dani Schoenly’s two-run homer sparked the offense en route to a 10-1 win over the Celtics.

Olentangy Orange 11, DeSales 10

The Pioneers used an eight-run third to knock off the Stallions Saturday in Marysville.

Ali Rubal had four hits, two RBI and three runs scored, Alyssa Laisure finished with three RBI and Jenn Rubal chipped in two RBI of her own.

Marysville 9, Olentangy Orange 2

Cami Clarkson had three hits, including a pair of doubles, but the Pioneer offense couldn’t muster much else en route to a non-league loss to the host Monarchs Saturday in Marysville.

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By Michael Rich

For the Gazette

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at mrichnotwealthy@gmail.com.

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at mrichnotwealthy@gmail.com.

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