Late pushes lift Patriots, Pioneers


The Olentangy Orange and Olentangy Liberty baseball teams took turns using late surges to secure OCC-Central Division wins over the last several days, proving what they’re capable of heading into the stretch run.

The defending Division I state runner-up Pioneers (14-2), who beat the Patriots on their way to the state showcase last spring, found themselves in a 5-1 hole before scoring four runs in the seventh and six in the eighth to rally for a thrilling 11-5 win in their first matchup of the season Friday night in Powell.

Monday in Lewis Center, meanwhile, the Patriots (6-9) turned the tables, plating a run in the seventh to send the game to extras before all but sealing the deal with a seven-run ninth.

In Orange’s win, a hit batter, walk and one-out single loaded the bases before another hit batter forced in a run, ending the day of Liberty’s Parker Van Engelenhoven, who limited the Pioneers to next to nothing through six-plus innings of work until running into trouble in the seventh.

A fielder’s choice made it a 5-3 game and, with two down, Keegan Knupp connected on a clutch two-run double to send the game to the bottom of the seventh.

After the Patriots went down in order, the Pioneers scored six in the eighth to all but end things. Griffin Zavislak and Knupp both had two-run singles in the inning. The duo finished with a combined seven RBI in the win.

In Monday’s rematch, Orange scored in the first on a ground out by Knupp before Liberty got the equalizer on a Nick Vittorini RBI single in the seventh.

From there, it was all Patriots, who broke things open with the seven-run ninth.

Van Engelenhoven had three RBI in the win while Vittorini and McCafrey Tatum finished with two apiece.

Drew Hauenstein earned the win, allowing just to runs on four hits while striking out nine in 8.2 innings of action.

Olentangy Berlin 5, Thomas Worthington 1

Kyle Haag had a huge game, finishing with three hits — including a home run and a double — and four RBI to lead the Bears (14-2) to a league win over the host Cardinals Monday night.

Jack Showalter took care of the rest on the mound, allowing an unearned run on three hits while striking out five and walking two en route to the complete-game win.

Dublin Scioto 4, Delaware Hayes 0

The Pacers outhit the host Irish, 6-2, but couldn’t get them when they needed them on the way to an OCC-Capital Division setback Monday night in Dublin.

Caleb Rowe and Landon Green both had two hits for Hayes (6-6).

Colin Milligan suffered the setback on the mound, allowing just two hits, but walking five in four innings of work.

Delaware Christian 11, Genoa Christian 1, 5 inn.

Caden Beck finished a perfect 4-for-4 at the dish, adding a couple RBI just for good measure as the Eagles soared to a lopsided win over visiting Genoa Christian Monday night.

Up 2-0, DCS (5-2) used a seventh-run fourth to blow things open.

Beck was strong on the mound, too, allowing a run on five hits while striking out four in three innings of work.

Big Walnut 4, Westerville North 0

The Golden Eagles won their 14th-straight game to start the season Monday, plating a pair of runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to drop the visiting Warriors.

Adam Whilhelm and Nolan Buirley each knocked in a pair of runs while Jax Lawrence had a team-best two hits.

Marysville 6, Olentangy 5

The Braves scored two runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback Monday against the host Monarchs.

Andrew Leech, Dominic Pirrone, Luke Chilicki and Kaden Gebhardt had the Olentangy (4-10) hits, with Gebhardt’s triple the only one of the extra-base variety.

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