XENIA — It’s early in the 2019 high school baseball season, and that unfamiliarity showed on April Fool’s Day.
Visiting Yellow Springs and host Legacy Christian combined for at least a dozen wild pitches, 26 walks, six hit batsmen, 19 strike outs, eight errors, and 24 runs in a frigid 14-10 Yellow Springs win at Grady’s Field on the Athletes In Action Sports Complex grounds.
The win was the first for Yellow Springs coach Ryan Pasco.
“For my first game as the team’s head coach, that was unbelievable. That was a crazy game,” Pasco said. “Dylan Rainey, a senior. He’s probably one of our best players on the team, and he did a nice job for us today, but we’re a really young team. I went to Colton, or first baseman, to throw a few innings and he struggled a little bit, and we had a few other guys struggle tonight. … but we battled those things. For the first game of the season, I’m proud of how they kept playing hard. We know we have some things to work on, and we’ll do that. We just have to keep improving as we go on.”
Rainey limited Legacy Christian to three hits through his five innings of work. He recorded eight strike outs, while walking five. He only hit one batter, but he hit that same batter — LCA’s Zach Zesiger — three times.
Three Yellow Springs relief pitchers accounted for nine walks the rest of the way.
Rainey had two infield hits, reached on an error and got on after being hit with a pitch, scoring twice for Yellow Springs. Senior Trey Anderson doubled to drive in one run, and walked with the bases loaded to bring in another.
Legacy led 5-3 after three innings of play, Springs tied things up in the top of the fifth, but the host Knights responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to lead 7-5 after five innings of play.
In the sixth, however, the Bulldog bats came alive. Romel Philips, Tariq Muhammad, Rainey, Anderson and Eric Hansen each got hits in the inning, with Anderson’s being a double. Colton Bittner and Blaine Baker each got on with a walk.
Philips, Muhammad, Rainey, Baker, Anderson and Hansen all scored in the inning. The Bulldogs then tagged on runs by Baker, Jasiah Zingor-Mitchell and Hansen in the seventh to stay out front for good.
Legacy scored two in the bottom of the sixth, and another in the bottom of the seventh, but ended the game with two runners stranded on base.
“We had some surprises with our pitching rotation this year,” Legacy coach Scott Pickens said. “A couple people chose not to play this year, and … we’ve got younger guys who are coming along. But that’s just it, we’ve got younger guys who are coming along. I like that we continue to improve with each time out, and that’s all I can ask for at this point. We’re getting better.”
Sophomore starting pitcher Ty McIntire is one of those guys “coming along.” McIntire limited Yellow Springs to a Rainey infield single through the first three innings of the game, but then walked one batter and hit the next two in the fourth to end his day. McIntire struckout five Bulldogs, but walked seven others.
“His ERA is not as bad as it looks like, but things happen behind him, so …” Pickens added.
With the loss, Legacy Christian is now 0-4 overall, 0-3 in the Metro Buckeye Conference. Yellow Springs was playing in its regular season opener on Monday, so they’re now 1-0 overall and in the MBC.
The Knights head to Springfield to take on Emmanuel Christian for a 5 p.m. contest on Tuesday, April 2; Yellow Springs heads north to take on Troy Christian at the Eldean Baseball Complex at that same time.