Bednar, Pulliam lead Bears over Pioneers


Taylor Bednar wasn’t perfect, but he was pretty darn close as the Olentangy Berlin baseball team blanked defending state runner-up Olentangy Orange 5-0 in a Division I regional semifinal Thursday afternoon at Grove City High School.

Bednar was in complete control from the start, collecting 10 strikeouts en route to securing the shutout. He’d only allowed one baserunner up until the seventh and, while the Pioneers were able to get the tying run into the on-deck circle, they couldn’t crack the scoring column.

Down five runs, and down to just three outs to work with, Orange’s James Wimsatt drew a walk, Bednar’s first of the game, before Keegan Knupp singled to put runners on the corners with one out in the seventh.

After a strikeout, Bednar’s 10th, Mason Woycitzky was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but the rally fizzled there as Bednar coaxed a ground out to put the finishing touches on his stellar showing.

Bednar didn’t need a ton of help, but he got plenty, especially from Maddox Pulliam, who broke the scoring seal with a solo home run with one down in the bottom of the second.

The Bears added three more in the third to take control for good.

Alejandro Aguilar walked to set the table, Lucas Patrick singled to put runners on the corners and Parker McDaniels chased home Aguilar with a ground out.

One batter later, Kyle Haag connected on a clutch two-out, two-run double to double the edge to 4-0 heading into the fourth.

Things stayed like that until the sixth, when Pulliam hammered his second homer of the game to smooth out the scoring summary.

Haag and Pulliam led the charge with two RBI apiece while Bednar did his thing on the mound, allowing just two hits over seven scoreless innings of work.

Knupp suffered the setback for the Pioneers, allowing four runs on five hits while striking out six and walking five in five innings of action.

Hilliard Bradley 3, Olentangy Liberty 2, 11 inn.

Logan Minamyer worked a walk and scored the game-winning run on a two-out double off the bat of Alex Koons in the bottom of the 11th inning — the first run by either team since the third — to lift the Jaguars to a Division I regional semifinal win over the Patriots Thursday night in Grove City.

After Bradley plated a run in the first, Liberty answered with two in the second. Landon Hunter started things with a walk, AJ Clymer doubled and both came around to score on a single by Ryan Stickel to make it a 2-1 game.

The Jags evened things back up with a run in the third, though, and the pitching and defenses took over from there, trading zeros until the walk-off hit.

Liberty had a good chance to go back on top in the seventh — Andrew Leonard walked to lead things off and made it to third on an errant pickoff attempt — but couldn’t turn it into a lead.

Diego Contreras got the win in relief, tossing four innings of shutout ball. He struck out four and allowed just one hit. Minamyer got the start, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four and walking two over seven innings.

Koons had three of Bradley’s six hits, finishing 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Liberty’s Drew Hauenstein suffered the setback, allowing a run on three hits while striking out seven and walking two in 5.2 innings of relief.

Next up, Bradley and Berlin will square off for a regional. First pitch is slated for Friday at 5 p.m.

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