XENIA — Visiting Wayne High and host Xenia battled to a pair of eighth inning outcomes on April 3 … well sorta.
First, the two Greater Western Ohio Conference teams finished a March 28 game that had ended under darkness with the score all knotted up at 9-all. Xenia won that contest when Kyle Lane raced in from third base and slide safely across home plate on a wild pitch in the Buccaneers’ bottom half of the eighth.
It then looked as if the second game would wind up being ‘darked out’ as well, but the visiting Warriors scored three runs in their top half of the eighth, then fended off a Xenia rally, to win the nightcap, 6-4.
“I was getting ready to go over and talk with Barry (Xenia coach Barry Claus) and see whether we was gonna have to go home again to make this game up as well. I was gonna see whether he’d want to schedule another doubleheader again,” Wayne coach Joe Yount said. “I’m happy for our players. They got off the losing snide.
“We have a large group of first-year players, and we’ve gone through some horrible, horrible growing pains. Our pitching staff, … we’ve had three games were we had double-digit walks. I keep telling them that they can’t beat bad teams with double-digit walks, let alone teams like Troy and Centerville. We thought we had the first game against Xenia, but they have a really solid team and they battled back in that one. … It’s good to finally get a win.”
Xenia fell to 6-1 overall, and remains 2-0 in the GWOC South. They play Tippecanoe for a 5 p.m. Thursday April 4 game up in Tipp City next.
Aside from the split with Xenia, Wayne (1-4) had been shutout on the road in Troy 13-0, then they lost a home-and-home series with Centerville by scores of 11-0 and 20-0. The Warriors head to Toadvine Field in Miamisburg to take on the Vikings at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 4 for their next game.
Xenia’s Claus gave his players a stern post-game speech after his team stranded 18 players on the bases in the Game 2 loss.
“It was a good game, but we stranded a small village on the base paths. We can’t do that,” Claus said. “I do want to give a shout out to Aaron Adkins, though. The kid is a freshman, stepping in there and hitting out of the 9-hole in the lineup and hitting like he did. That was awesome. … What people don’t know is that he’s really good on the pitcher’s mound too. He hasn’t got more than one third of an inning on the mound so far, but he’s more than a one-trick pony up there.”
Adkins went 3-for-5 in Game 2 with a double and two runs batted in. Sophomore lead-off batter Aydan Evans had two hits, two stolen bases, scored twice, drew a walk, and was intentionally walked two other times in the extra-inning loss. Senior Warren Mahar had a pair of singles and drove in two runs as well.
“We’ve got some guys who’ve gotta keep working. I know they will. I know they’ll answer my challenge, and they won’t shy away from it,” Claus said. “Our motto is simple: ‘No excuses. No alibis.’ We’ve got no excuses tonight. Wayne beat us. We expect to get on the bus (Thursday) and go up to Tipp City tomorrow. We’re not expecting to compete. We’re going up there to win the ballgame tomorrow.”
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.