XENIA — Fourteen games into the 2019 Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League baseball season, the Xenia Scouts appear to be hitting their stride.
Currently enjoying a three-game winning streak, the Scouts have won five of their last seven ball games. With an 8-6 record Xenia has the third-best record in the entire GLSCL, but the teams with the first- and second-best records (the Hamilton Joes and the Licking County Settlers) are both ahead of the Scouts in the South Division. Earlier this month, the Scouts lost three straight to Hamilton, then Licking County came to town and took two of three games at Grady’s Field in Xenia.
Presently in the third game of a 13-game stretch of inter-divisional games, the Scouts are in Galion to play the Galion Graders. Their game Thursday night at Heise Field was rained out, and so the two GLSCL teams are hoping to get in a doubleheader on Friday.
So what has brought the Scouts into title contention thus far?
A quick look at the league’s Pointstreak statistics shows that the team can hit and field the ball, while the pitching keeps things interesting.
The Scouts rank third in the entire 12-team league in runs scored (84) and hits (125), they’re second in walks (72) and doubles (23), and fourth in triples (3) and tied for fifth in runs batted in with 67.
Individually, Cochise College first baseman Steven Saunders leads the league in RBI with 16, is tied for the league lead in doubles with seven, and is tied for fourth in home runs with two. Olivet Nazarene’s Logan Matson and Whitman College’s Brett Williams are tied for second in the GLSCL in hits with 19 apiece. Matson ranks 13th out of all league batters in batting average at .365 (19 for 52), and he and Loyola University shortstop teammate Brandon Wilson Jr. are tied for third in the league for times they’ve been hit with a pitch with four each.
On defense, Xenia appears pretty solid as well.
Heading into Friday’s doubleheader in Galion, the Scouts rank third overall in team fielding percentage (0.973) and fewest errors committed (13) and are fourth in total defensive putouts with 344.
In terms of pitching, there are bright spots in that recent co-Pitcher of the Week Timothy Watkins of Florida’s Polk State College leads the league in strikeouts with 21, while fellow starters Garrett DeClue (Western Nebraska CC) and Allan Goodwin (Bethany College-Lindsborg) are tied for second in pitching wins, and relievers Jared Couch of Houghton College and Muskingum University’s Brett Carson are tied for second in saves, with two.
However, Xenia pitchers also rank 11th out of 12 teams in runs allowed (99), hits allowed (138) and earned runs (85).
When Xenia leaves Galion, the team will head west over to Grand Lake St. Mary’s to take on the Mariners for a pair of weekend games at Montgomery Field. Xenia and Grand Lake are scheduled to play a 7:05 p.m. contest on Saturday, June 22. The two teams will then wrap up their two-game series at 4:05 p.m. Sunday, June 23, also at Montgomery Field.
The Scouts’ next home games will be Tuesday and Wednesday, June 25-26 when they’ll host the Lima Locos for two 7:05 p.m. contests.