By Michael Rich
Nick Green cleared the bases with a shot to the right-center gap to help the Big Walnut baseball team pick up its first OCC-Capital win, 5-2 over Delaware Hayes Tuesday in Sunbury.
“I was prepared,” Green said. “I was looking for a pitch to drive and I got that pitch and luckily it was back side to score all three runs.”
Trailing 1-0, Noah Sprowls started the third-inning rally with a one-out single. Parker Imertreijs and Jakob Evans then reached with two outs on a hit-by-pitch and walk, respectively, to load the bases for Green.
Green lined the third pitch to the right-center field alley, which stuck on the wet grass like a lawn dart, allowing all three runners to race around and score to give the Golden Eagles (5-3, 1-2) a 3-1 lead.
“He’s a coach’s player,” BW coach Chris Holly said. “He’s like having another coach out there.”
Noah Watts and the Pacers (2-4, 0-3) took advantage of some shoddy defense in the first inning to produce a run. Watts reached on an error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Daughenbaugh.
Mason W. Davis’ swinging bunt up the first base line forced the catcher to vacate home plate and allowed Watts to score from second to give Hayes a 1-0 lead.
Sprowls and Evans each had two hits to lead the Eagles.
Jacob Young got the win on the mound for BW, pitching around four hits, three walks and a hit batter to hold the Pacers to two runs, one earned, over 4.1 innings.
“I know he always gives the best he can, and for him to stay in there and only allow two runs is huge,” Green said.
“He battled a little bit, but he was able to maintain,” Holly said. “He wasn’t at his best, but he got through it and did a good job.”
Henry von Hollen tossed the final 2.2 innings, which included the game’s only 1-2-3 inning in the sixth. He allowed a pair of hits and struck out three to earn the save.
Mason McGeath and Sam Midura each singled with two outs in the final frame to bring the tying run to the plate, but a groundout to third ended things.
“I was happy with the way our guys responded,” Hayes coach Ryan Montgomery said. “(Big Walnut) is a very good baseball team — well coached. It was nice to see us come out and compete.”
McGeath, Midura and Mason W. Davis each had two hits to lead the Pacers.
Tyler Brown started and took the loss for Hayes. He allowed four runs, three earned, on five walks and four hits with three strikeouts over four innings.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Eagles, each by one run, with the last two in the last at-bat against Olentangy last week.
“It feels good for sure,” Green said about the win. “I think we were just a little rattled up and I think we got that out of the way.”
Moser, a senior, stole one base in the game — his 19th of the season. He has 125 stolen bases for his career, tying him with Dan Haegele of Westerville North (1994-97) for sixth all-time in the state. The record of 170 is held by Matt Figgie of Gilmour Academy (1982-84).
Both teams are back in action against league opponents today. Hayes travels to New Albany and BW hosts Worthington Kilbourne. Both games are slated to start at 5 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.