By Michael Rich
Parker Imertreijs had quite a day — both at the plate and on the mound — helping the Big Walnut baseball team sweep Buckeye Valley in a non-league doubleheader Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan’s Littick Field.
Imertreijs had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and reached base all four times at the plate in the early game. He drove in three runs and scored four times in a 17-3 win in five innings.
“He had a day,” Eagles coach Chris Holly said. “That’s what we want out of our four-hole — he gets up there with runners in scoring position and we have faith that he’s going to put the ball in play and get those runs. He had a good day today.”
He followed that performance with a victory on the mound in the second game. He allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts over 5.2 innings of a 12-3 win.
“All I did was focus on hitting the mitt and good things happened,” Imertreijs said.
Imertreijs credited a change in mindset for his success at the plate in the first game. He approaches every pitch like it’s going to be a strike until it falls out of the zone.
“Everything’s a strike until it isn’t,” he said.
Jakob Evans also drove in three runs for the Golden Eagles (12-7) in the opener in which he went 2-for-2 with a walk as BW took control with a five-run third inning after BV had rallied to tie the score 3-3 in the top half.
Freshman Matthew Evans went the distance in the opener to pick up his first career win. He allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts.
“He threw very well — we were very pleased with what he did,” Holly said.
Max Gentile reached base both times at the plate to lead the Barons (5-9) in the opener with a hit and a walk.
Ben Spaulding took the loss in the opener and Dominic Bertke was the losing pitcher in the second tilt.
The Barons had a chance to close a five-run gap with the bases loaded in the sixth inning of the afternoon game, but Nick Moser came up with the defensive play of the day, laying out in short right-center to snag a sinking liner to end the inning.
“That was crazy,” Imertreijs said. “He hadn’t had an opportunity to dive at one in a while. That was awesome.”
“That’s why he’s an All-State outfielder,” Holly said. “He’s a great all-around ballplayer. He saves a lot of balls in the gaps and that was a heck of a catch. If he doesn’t catch that, it’s a ballgame.”
Moser had five stolen bases on the day, including three in the second game on the strength of two hits.
He is 13 stolen bases away from tying Gates Mills Gilmour Academy’s Matt Figgie, who stole 170 bases in his career from 1982 to 1984. Moser has six regular season games remaining.
The bottom half of the BW order each had big second games. Nick Green, Colton Lee and Jakob Evans each had two hits. Lee drove in three runs and Green, Young and Matthew Evans each drove in two runs.
Andrew Klamfoth also had two hits for the Eagles.
Nick Cooper and Ethan Jones had two hits apiece for BV in the afternoon game.
“I feel like we had some good at-bats — I feel like we squared up quite a few balls and they went right at people and (BW) made plays,” Barons coach Adam Hall said. “(BW) hit the ball hard … they hit it where we weren’t and they made plays and we didn’t.”
Both teams are back in league-play today at 5 p.m. BV hosts Pleasant and BW visits New Albany.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.