A day after beating Buckeye Central in a 12-inning grind, the Orange-and-Blue run-ruled the Bucks 13-3 in five frames at Heise Park.
The Tigers — 12-2 overall and a perfect 6-0 in the North Central Conference — pounced on BC quickly with a 5-run outburst in the bottom half of the first inning. The locals banged out 5 hits and stole 4 bases during the blitz, with the key hit being a 2-run single to single by Bryton Carpenter.
The winners added 4 runs in the second to make it 9-0. Carpenter again had the key hit, this time a two-run double to deep left field.
In their third at-bats, the Tigers scored 3 more runs to go up 12-0. Connor Campbell ripped a run-scoring double down the right field line for the big hit.
Buckeye Central scored once in the top of the fourth and twice in the fifth. A bases-loaded walk to Michale Harris with no out in the bottom of the fifth scored Nick Flowers who had led off with his third hit of the day.
Jermaine Burket — a left-handed junior — threw all 5 innings for the victors. The allowed only 3 hits, walked 2 and struck out 5. All 3 runs he was tagged for were of the unearned variety.
Mike Blackford and Scott Parson pitched for the visitors. They were roughed up for 14 hits, whiffed 1 and dealt out 6 bases on balls. Blackford was the pitcher of record.
Hitting-wise for the locals, Flowers and Josh Keller swatted 3 singles each, Campbell and Carpenter had a two-bagger and a base rap apiece, to go with a single each from Harris, Chad Karnes, John Poffenbaugh and Eric Powell.
Parsons cranked out a double for BC.
Galion’s Flowers — a senior playing his first year of high school baseball — sports a blistering .592 batting average, second in the district, and has scored 21 runs and driven in 13. He’s struck out just 4 times in 60 plate appearances.
A NCC classic Tuesday in New Washington had the Orange-and-Blue triumphing 6-4 in a 12-inning marathon against Buckeye Central.
Galion’s Chad Karnes and BC’s Austin Lutz engaged in in a good old-fashioned pitching duel through the first nine innings. Karnes — who would hurl 10 innings — yielded only a single run in the bottom of the fourth. Lutz was tagged for the lone tally he allowed in the top of the fifth.
Innings six through 10 were scoreless. The Tigers went up 2-1 in the top half of the 11th, but the Bucks responded with a run of their own, knotting the score at 2-2 and sending the game into the 12th.
In the final frame, the Orange-and-Blue erupted for 4 runs to take a seemingly comfortable 6-2 cushion in BC’s half of the inning. The big hit for the good guys was a run-scoring double by Connor Campbell that plated Josh Keller.
But, the hosts made things interesting in their final at-bats, scoring twice before being retired for the last out.
Karnes — a junior right-hander — fired a gem in his 10 innings on the mound. He struck out 15, allowed just 6 hits and walked only 2 Bucks.
Kole Nickell started the 11th and allowed a hit to the only batter he faced. That man would end up scoring.
Eric Powell got the win in relief. In 2 innings, he was touched for 4 hits, 2 runs and whiffed a pair.
Buckeye Central’s Lutz gave up just 7 hits and 1 run in his 9 innings of toeing the rubber. He retired 8 Tigers on strikes and walked none. Scott Parsons went 1 1/3 innings, surrendering a hit, a run and 3 free passes. Tanner Zaebst got the defeat with 1 2/3 innings of work during which he was roughed up for 3 hits, 4 runs. He struck out a pair and walked a Tiger.
Nick Flowers was Galion’s top hitter with a trio of singles. The senior — who didn’t play baseball his first three years of high school — is one of the top hitters in the district with a batting average just under .600.
Also for the winners, Powell belted a triple and a single and drove in a pair, John Poffenbaugh had 2 singles; Campbell, a double; to go with a base hit each by Bryton Carpenter, Matt Hardy and Karnes.
Jordan Herrnstein and Zaebst were tops for the losers with a two-bagger and a single apiece.
Both teams were solid defensively. The victors committed just 1 error and the Bucks, none.