By John Bombatch
HAMILTON — Twelfth-seeded Bellbrook fell behind early, and then Hamilton Badin pitcher Logan Heintzman kept them guessing the rest of the way, in Friday’s 7-2 loss in Division II sectional semifinal action at Badin’s Alumni Field in Joyce Park.
The no. 5 seeded Badin Rams (15-10) scored at least one run in each of the first four innings of play to jump out to a 5-0 lead, and the Golden Eagles (9-18) just never seemed to be able to respond.
“I think he was a good pitcher, I’m gonna give him a lot of credit for that. He kept us off balance a little bit, but that’s baseball. Your top-4 aren’t going to do it all of the time,” Bellbrook coach Rich Demko said. “The middle of our lineup — and two freshmen — had a few hits. It’s baseball. That happens. … We just gave them a couple runs early and we couldn’t catch up.”
The first through fourth batters in the Bellbrook lineup were a collective 0-for-13 and never reached base in Friday’s contest. But batters five through nine came up with the Golden Eagles’ seven hits. Seniors Jonah Ray and Cameron Sloan (two hits each), and Nick Barhost, came up with five of those hits. Freshmen Adam Galle and Jayden Elliott came up with the other two hits.
Down by five runs, Bellbrook had a chance in the fifth inning to close the gap a bit. They loaded the bases with one out, and Sloan drove home Adam Gallewith a run with his single to right, but then Heintzman struck out the next two Golden Eagles to end the threat.
Sloan smacked a double to right in the seventh inning to score Barhorst with Bellbrook’s final run of the season.
“I think the key was Logan Heintzman on the mound throwing strikes, keeping us with quick innings defensively and getting us back in the dugout to go hit,” Badin coach Brion Treadway said. “Logan threw strikes and had control of four pitches, and really kept us in the game.”
With the win, Badin has a matchup with Greater Catholic League Coed rival Middletown Fenwick at 5 p.m. May 19 at West Carrollton High School. The two teams played a home-and-home series in early April, with Badin winning 2-1 on Fenwick’s field, then Fenwick won in extra innings 3-2 in Hamilton.
Fenwick won the GCLC and is the tournament’s no. 2 seed.
Bellbrook’s Demko tried to sum up his team’s season.
“We’re losing nine seniors, but we had two freshmen in our lineup for most of the season, so we’re really old and still really young, if that makes sense,” he said. “The future is bright here. We’ve got five freshmen on the roster for this tournament, and a couple of them were close to getting in to run, and two were in the lineup. There’s definitely some good freshmen, and we’ve got a good sophomore class, so we’re just going to keep battling.
“Things didn’t go our way today, like we wanted to do. But that’s baseball.”