Wells overpowers Greenville in Reds Showcase game


FAIRBORN — Sticking to the game plan worked for Xenia’s Ethan Wells on a big stage.

Pitching 5 1/3 no-hit innings in his start on the mound, he helped the Buccaneers pick up a 7-4 victory over Greenville at Wright State’s Nischwitz Stadium on Wednesday.

The game was part of the Cincinnati Reds’ High School Showcase event.

“I just did my thing on the mound,” Wells said. “I wanted to throw strikes and get swings and misses and that let me stick to our game plan.”

Wells entered the game with a 3.24 ERA this season in 17 innings with 25 punch outs. He produced 11 more strikeouts against Greenville with a fastball-slider combo that kept hitters off balance.

“I was just trying to keep things within me and my catcher,” Wells said. “Just trying to stay cool and locate pitches. I didn’t know that I had a no-hitter going, I’m not gonna lie.”

He retired the first eleven hitters he faced before walking Braeden Wills with two outs in the fourth. He struck out the side in the first and third and had eight total during the first three innings.

Control issues began in the fifth as a walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for Greenville with no outs. After picking up a strikeout, he walked in two Green Wave runners.

Wells was able to get Ty Bush to hit a soft line drive near second which shortstop Evan Harbison made a leaping grab to snag and jogged to the base for a double play to get out of the jam.

“That was just a huge play,” head coach Brandon Salyers said. “We kept our wits about us because sometimes kids speed up the moment too much in a critical situation like that with the bases loaded.

“He made a heads up play to step on the bag for two. That held them to two and it could have really spun out of control, so I’ll take that.”

With one out in the sixth, Wells exited after striking out the last hitter he faced to a rousing ovation from the Xenia fans which packed the stands at Nischwitz Stadium. He was unaware he had a potential no-hitter brewing.

“He was around 85 pitches or so, it was about that time,” Salyers said. “I was going to give him the first couple batters. Players health and safety is paramount.”

Harbison gave Xenia the lead in the bottom of the second with a RBI double into shallow right center which was the lone hit of what turned into a five-run inning. After Nate Fellie beat out a fielder’s choice at home with the bases loaded, Aidan Solis successfully put down a well executed suicide squeeze to make it 3-0 Buccaneers.

Greenville cut its deficit to 6-4 after Wells exited and picked up its first hit on a RBI double, but Bobby Hatfield in relief got the Xenia defense two soft ground balls hit to third to finish the inning.

Xenia got an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth and had Aidan Solis pitch the seventh for the save. He was aided from a diving catch by Jackson Tate at third to end the game, a heads up play after the Xenia defense wasn’t asked to do much with Wells taking care of more than half of the outs in the game himself.

With the win, Xenia moves into a tie with Sidney for first in the MVL Valley Division at 5-4.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.

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