XENIA —In dramatic fashion, host Xenia earned a doubleheader sweep over Kettering Alter.
The Buccaneers were tied 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning to the Alter Knights, after Xenia’s Blayne Dudley stole home. Two batters later, Warren Mahar hit a single to Aaron Adkins with the walk-off game winning run.
The dugout emptied as teammates ran up to hug Mahar, after being down 4-1.
“You could see the emotion that came out,” Xenia coach Barry Claus said of the opening game win. “They are a close-knit group of kids, and I think the emotions of getting a walk-off win is always exciting.”
A few hours later, Xenia made a second comeback after starting out down 4-0. The Bucs completed the sweep of the doubleheader against Alter with a score of 13-11 pushing their record to 15-2 on the year.
“I thought we were a little lethargic to start both games,” Claus said. “Thank goodness we woke up when we did. It was just in time.”
The Alter Knights (3-8) had started a chant of “Let’s get weird!” to hype each other up when they had the lead. However, this kind of weird likely wasn’t what they were hoping for.
As the day progressed, things certainly got weird. In addition to the two comebacks, neither team could seem to find the strike zone in either game. There were way more balls called than strikes as both teams dealt with some pitching control frustration.
“It was a bizarre day,” Claus said. “You have to find where the umpire’s strike zone is and, as a team, we just had to battle through it and figure it out.”
Claus said he was happy his team could pull off the wins, but the slow starts and errors on defense had to get fixed going forward.
“I thought (the walk-off run from the first game) was going to inspire us to come out and jump on them early, but we spotted them a four-run lead to start the top of the first,” Claus said. “We had a lot more errors today than we want, but the kids are good players and they will work on it.”
Xenia will play next at 5 p.m., Tuesday April 16, at Trotwood-Madison in a Greater Western Ohio Conference South Division game. Alter was back in Greater Catholic League Co-Ed play on Monday with a home game against Fenwick. They then play at Fenwick on Wednesday.
Joshua Woolverton is a student intern for Greene County News from Cedarville University.