XENIA — The plan was to defeat visiting Metro Buckeye Conference powerhouse Dayton Christian on Legacy Christian Academy’s home field. Win, and the host Knights would still be in contention for the league title.
Lose and … well.
It was a great plan, but a whole lot of little things … seven errors, to be exact … just got in the way.
Dayton Christian took advantage of LCA’s miscues, and took control of the MBC lead as well, with an 8-1 win Thursday, April 27 on Grady’s Field at the Athletes In Action Sports Complex.
“They didn’t beat us outright. We gave them the games,” LCA coach Scott Pickens said. “I’ll solidly say that all day long. These gentlemen are a much better team than we saw against them (in a 3-2 loss at Dayton Christian on Tuesday) then and today. Mistakes were the difference. This outcome has nothing to do with ability.”
With the win, Dayton Christian remains undefeated at 7-0 in MBC play, while the team’s nearest competitor in the standings — LCA — is now 7-3.
“We’ve got three conference games left on our schedule still,” Dayton Christian coach Randy Pavlak explained. “But if we win just one of those last three games, we’ll win the Metro Buckeye Conference title.”
Dayton Christian closes out its MBC campaign with home games against Springfield Emmanuel Christian (Monday, May 1) and Troy Christian (May 2) before playing at Troy Christian on May 4. Any win in any of those three games will give the Warriors the best record in the MBC.
But first, Dayton Christian has nonleague home games at 5 p.m. Friday, April 28 against Dayton Dunbar, and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29 with Carroll.
With a solid complete-game, six-hit performance from Owen Gibboney on the mound, error-free defense, and key hitting from Joseph Hardy (single, triple, three RBI and two runs scored) and Matt Batson (single, double, an RBI and two runs scored), the Warriors took control in the later innings of Thursday’s game.
Dayton Christian was out in front 1-0 after five innings of play, when Batson scored from third on an errant pick-off throw that wound up in left field. The Warriors scored three runs in the sixth (off three hits and a a pair of LCA mistakes), then tacked on four more runs in the top of the seventh (on two hits and three more Knights errors).
Legacy’s No. 9 batter, Tyler Castle, singled to short, advanced on Eric Uszynski’s single to left, then eventually scored on Ashton Burke’s infield groundout.
The play was bizarre, as the home plate umpire called a third out because he thought third-base coach Pickens had made contact with LCA’s Josh Rutan, before Rutan scampered back to second base on the play.
After a brief discussion with the infield umpire, the Warriors once again took the field with two outs against the Knights with Rutan on second, and Burke on first. The next batter, however, was called out for batter interference, completing a confusing half inning that netted the Knights their only run.
Legacy Christian falls to 9-7 overall, but remains in second place in the MBC with a 7-3 record. They play a nonleague game at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 29 at Cedarville High next.
You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.