By John Bombatch firstname.lastname@example.org
June 24, 2014
XENIA — Lightning struck twice, and so did the Xenia Scouts.
Xenia (9-7) claimed a pair of Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League baseball wins over the visiting Southern Ohio Copperheads. They won on Sunday by a 4-3 count, and they won Monday’s game 3-0.
It’s the first time they’ve won consecutive games since June 7-8 when Xenia won a pair of games over the Lexington Hustlers.
The Scouts scored after lightning delays in b0th games.
“I told the players: ‘That’s good for us. When there’s a lightning delay, that’s us. Some people go well after a rain delay. For us, when we get a lightning delay, (the win) is in the bag,” manager Bobby Randall laughed.
On Sunday after a lightning delay, Tyler Krahn hit a two-out double into right field. A few pitches later, Matt Seibert singled to right for the walk-off win in 11 innings.
After Monday’s lightning delay, with Xenia clinging to a narrow 1-run lead, Jordan Stading drew a two-out walk and then Isaac Holt singled to right to move Stading to third. Catcher Joe Gregory then took a first-pitch fastball and doubled to left field, scoring both Scouts in the bottom of the eighth inning for the game’s final margin.
“I was just looking for something I thought I could handle and drive,” Gregory said. “I felt like I hadn’t squared up to a lot of balls lately. I just tried to relax, square up and hit the ball somewhere and get a hit out of it. … I kinda saw that the pitcher was starting off with a first-pitch fastball, just trying to get ahead in the count. Especially after the lightning break, he was probably cooled off and just trying to throw strikes. … I was looking for a fastball and it worked out.”
Gregory had a part in Sunday’s win as well. In the fourth inning, with Copperheads on all the bases and one out, Gregory took a throw from third to get the forceout at home. Southern Ohio (6-8) grounded out to starting pitcher Lucas Hamelink for the final out.
In Monday’s win, Lucas Daugherty was once again dominant on the mound. He has three solid starts this season, and all three have occurred at Grady’s Field. The Mount Vernon Nazarene product said he wasn’t too sure about throwing off an all-Turf mound, but Daugherty said he likes it now.
“I’ve pitched well off it, and I like it,” Daugherty said. “It’s consistent and doesn’t really change much. There’s no holes to worry about, so it’s been great. I haven’t thrown anywhere else. So this has been nice at home.”
Gregory, from Northwestern Ohio University, said he and Daugherty make a good battery.
“I’ve caught Lucas three times now, and we seem to work well as a team. In all three starts that he’s had, he’s been throwing to the corners and has been able to control the hitters. It helps when you have the catcher and pitcher on the same page, it makes us look better than we really are sometimes,” he said with a laugh.
Xenia now has two straight days off, after playing 12 straight games. It’s the team’s first multiple days off since the GLSCL season began on June 5. They’ll return to Grady’s Field for a 7:05 p.m. home game Thursday with Licking County, before playing at Licking County on Friday, then playing a pair of games Saturday and Sunday at Grand Lake.