The last time the Big Walnut baseball team took the field at Upper Arlington, it walked away holding a district championship trophy.
Monday’s trip to Upper Arlington will not be remembered as fondly for the Golden Eagles.
The Golden Bears used a five-run third to take control on their way to an 8-3 victory in Big Walnut’s season-opener Monday night in Upper Arlington.
BW pitchers Carson Becker and Noah Sprowls had trouble controlling pitches and it cost them. The duo combined to hit seven batters and walk seven more.
“On paper, we’re very competitive,” Golden Eagle coach Jack Schone said. “I just don’t think we were mentally prepared as a pitching staff today, and that’s obvious through walks and hit-batters.”
So, when UA came through with a couple of timely hits – the damage was profound.
Tommy Dilz and Sammy Sass combined to drive in seven of the team’s eight runs to lead the Golden Bear offense. Dilz did most of his damage with a two-run double in the first and Sass hit a bases-clearing triple in the third that put the game out of reach.
Brandon Horsley, who had three walks, gave the Bears (2-0) a 4-3 lead with a bases loaded walk and Dilz was hit by a pitch to push the lead to two.
Sass followed with a bases-clearing triple to the left-center gap to cap the scoring.
Dilz gave UA an early 2-0 lead with a double in the first, scoring Kyle Hench (hit-by-pitch) and Horsley (walk).
Sass was hit by a pitch to tie the game after a hit batter, a single and a walk loaded the bases in the second.
BW took advantage of some erratic pitching early, too. Austin Becker opened the second with walk and Connor Gerren followed with a bloop single. Becker scored on a wild pitch after a wild pitch moved both runners over to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Sprowls came through with a two-run single to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead after back-to-back walks loaded the bases.
“Noah had a big hit,” Schone said. “We hit the ball well. I wasn’t disappointed in the way we attacked the ball.”
But, UA starter Ben Krimm settled in after the third. He went six innings and allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits and six walks with four strikeouts to pick up the win.
Carson Becker lasted 2.2 innings and gave up seven runs (all earned) on four hits, five walks and three hit-batters. He struck out three, but was saddled with the loss for the Eagles (0-1).
“It’s the first game and typically we start out slow,” Schone said. “I’m not scared. (UA is) a good team and that’s a good game we’ll use as a measuring stick to see where we are.”
Sprowls finished out the final 3.1 innings and allowed an earned run on one hit, two walks and four hit-batters and struck out six.
BW is right back at it today at St. Francis DeSales. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at [email protected]