BEAVERCREEK — A Saturday nonleague doubleheader, between two teams that were leading their respective divisions, had all the makings of an exciting pair of high school baseball games. Bellbrook and Beavercreek didn’t disappoint.
Greater Western Ohio Conference, Central Division-leading Beavercreek came in riding a six-game winning streak. They’d just swept GWOC rival Centerville in a pair of consecutive games and outscored the Elks 19-3 in the two-game series. So it came as no surprise when the Beavers won the opening game, 11-1, in a run-ruled six inning affair.
But the Southwestern Buckeye League, Southwestern Division Bellbrook Golden Eagles responded in the second contest with some solid pitching and some smart baserunning for a 2-1 win.
“This is nonleague for us,” said Bellbrook coach Rich Demko. “Both lineups were a little different than what we’d usually go with, to give some kids a chance to show what they can do in different positions. And then it was just giving kids some different opportunities and trying to get a little more speed in the top half of the lineup (in Game Two). We brought a kid from below (Chase Buttery) up top, and tried to put some pressure on their defense.”
Buttery collected two of the Golden Eagles’ three hits in the first game. The pun is inescapable: Demko must’ve sensed “Buttery was hot”, because Chase was the team’s lead-off batter in the second game. Buttery finished with three hits in five plate appearances, with two walks, a run batted in and two runs scored.
In the first game, Beavercreek (8-3, 4-0 GWOC Central) sent 11 batters to the plate in the first inning. Led by Alex Anders’ two-run double, the Beavers scored four runs in the inning. Mike Elmore then keyed a three-run second inning when he smacked a two-run triple to right field. Caelan King doubled home a run as part of a three-run fifth inning, and then Mike Bianco reached base on an infield single to score Elmore with the run-ruled final run in the 11-1 first-game win.
“That first game, we were still hitting the ball like we did in the two wins against Centerville,” Beavercreek coach Brandon Long said. “But it’s been like this for second Saturday games. We do well, and then we lose our patience at the plate in the second game. That’s what we did against Bellbrook.”
Every Beavercreek batter but one had at least one hit in the first-game win.
The Golden Eagles’ Austin Hall tossed a complete-game five hitter against Beavercreek in the second game. Beavercreek actually out-hit Bellbrook in the second contest, but two unearned runs were all the Golden Eagles needed to win.
Buttery drew a game-opening leadoff walk to start the second game. He advanced to second on a passed ball, stole third base and then scored on Alex Fryman’s RBI double. That was tame stuff compared to how the winning run was scored.
With two out, no. 9 hitter Matt Hyatt reached first base on a strikeout, because of a passed ball. The Beavercreek catcher’s throw to first hit Hyatt in the back, and so he was safe at first. Hyatt then stole second base, and eventually scored on Buttery’s bloop single into center field.
Hall retired the last seven Beaver batters to end the game.
“Quentin Walker pitched a nice game for us in the second game. We just lost our patience at the plate,” Long said. “It’s a nonleague game, but we never like to lose.”
Walker allowed only three Golden Eagles hits in the loss.