By Ben Stroup
The Olentangy Liberty baseball team, down 7-3 heading into its final at-bat, erupted for five runs in the seventh to rally for a thrilling 8-7 OCC-Central Division win Wednesday at Central Crossing.
The Patriots (5-2, 2-0 OCC) broke the scoring seal with a pair of runs in the top of the first, but the Comets (4-2, 0-2 OCC) took control with a four-run fifth and three-run sixth.
That’s when Liberty, down but not out of outs, took advantage of their final one in a big way. Trailing by five with two down and a runner on first, Jordan Seich worked a walk and Mitchell Okuley singled to load the bases.
Spencer Yankle ripped a double to left field to keep the inning alive, scoring Seich and Okuley to make it a 7-5 game, and Chase Gresock reached on an error by the Central Crossing first baseman — a miscue which allowed Okuley and Yankle to score to tie things up.
Corey Mayer then doubled to bring home Gresock with what proved to be the winning run.
Yankle finished 2-for-3 with three runs and two RBI. Mayer and Corbin Rapier also came up big, finishing with two hits and a pair of RBI apiece.
Bernee Sanchez led the Comets with a pair of hits to go with his three RBI.
Liberty reliever Mason Groves, who allowed three runs on two hits in his 2.1 innings of work, picked up the win with a 1-2-3 seventh which included a pair of strikeouts.
Buckeye Valley 2, North Union 0
Hunter Mitchell pitched a one-hit shutout and the offense did just enough as the Barons (1-2, 1-1 MOAC) knocked off the visiting Wildcats Wednesday in Delaware.
“He was spotting his fastball very well,” Buckeye Valley coach Adam Hall said of Mitchell. “And he let his defense make plays for him.”
Orange 2, New Albany 0
Remington Steele and Colin Shepherd combined to toss a no-hitter, the team’s second combined no-no in eight days, as the Pioneers (6-1, 1-1 OCC) avenged Tuesday’s loss to the Eagles with a solid win Wednesday in Lewis Center.
Steele, Nik Strine and Logan Moss combined on a no-hitter against Northridge last Tuesday.
Olentangy 2, Big Walnut 1, 8 innings
Nate Monastra came through with a go-ahead, two-out hit to lift the Braves (4-5, 2-0 OCC) to their second last-inning win over the Golden Eagles (4-3, 0-2 OCC) in the last two days Wednesday in Sunbury.
Berto Carselle allowed a run over seven strong innings while Colin Mathews closed it out with a scoreless eighth.
The loss spoiled a strong effort from Big Walnut starter Henry von Hollen, who pitched seven solid innings. Parker Imertreijs, who came on in relief in the eighth, was charged with the loss.
Worthington Kilbourne 12, Hayes 2, 5 innings
The Wolves pounded out 12 hits and scored in every inning on the way to a lopsided OCC-Capital Division win over the Pacers Wednesday at Kilbourne.
Tyler Brown and Ben Yoakum drove in the two Hayes (2-3, 0-2 OCC) runs.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.