The Golden Eagles scored early … and often.
Big Walnut, scoring two runs in the second, third and fourth frames, flew out to a 6-0 lead en route to its fourth straight Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division victory as the Golden Eagles prevailed 10-4 over Delaware Hayes on Wednesday afternoon at Fouts-Wood Field.
The Eagles jumped on Pacer starter Jake Wright early, taking advantage of three Hayes errors to grab an early 2-0 lead with a pair of unearned runs thanks to an errant pick-off play at first and pitcher Cole Harbin’s run-producing single in the top of the second inning.
Big Walnut (11-4, 5-2 OCC) made it 4-0 in the third on Grant Beam’s lead-off single, Aaron Dattilo’s run-scoring double and Aaron Gase’s RBI-single. Tyler Beam’s bases-clearing, two-run double in the fourth had the Golden Eagles in cruise control with a 6-run lead … and they never looked back.
“We came into the game ready to play,” Big Walnut head coach Chris Holly said. “We took advantage of our opportunities early on to get the early lead and continued to add on while playing good defense behind Cole, who did a great job keeping Delaware’s hitters off balance in his complete-game performance.”
Hayes (8-7, 3-4 OCC) got on the board in the bottom of the fourth as Jake Bosiokovic, who was 2-for-4 with a home run, a triple and three RBIs, led off the inning by hammering a Harbin offering into the parking lot behind the left field fence to cut the Big Walnut lead to 6-1. Kenton Ulmer was another Hayes stanoudt, going 3-for-3 with three singles to lead the Pacers at the plate.
But the Golden Eagles weren’t quite done.
Big Walnut answered with three runs in the top of the fifth thanks to a wild pitch and Grant Beam’s two-out, two-run single that had Big Walnut up by eight with a 9-1 lead.
Hayes scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth on Bosiokovic’s line-drive triple to the base of the center field barrier and tallied an unearned run in the sixth on singles by Conner and Kenton Ulmer and a Golden Eagle error, but that was as close as the Pacers would come.
The Golden Eagles closed out the scoring in the seventh as Harbin led off with a walk, moved to second on Seth Wandling’s bunt and came around on Grant Beam’s double.
“Give Big Walnut credit, they came out and played good baseball,” Hayes head coach Mike Yinger said. “We didn’t get the job done … we gave them scoring opportunities with our defensive mistakes and, unlike Big Walnut, we could not generate anything at the plate against Harbin, and when we did we were down eight runs.”
Grant Beam led Big Walnut’s 11-hit attack with three hits, including a double, in four trips with two runs and three runs batted in. Tyler Beam was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, Harbin was 2-for-3 with a walk, three runs scored an an RBI, and Gase was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Harbin went the distance for the complete-game victory, allowing four runs, all unearned, on eight hits and one base on balls while striking out four.
Wright worked four-plus innings, surrendering seven runs, five earned, on six hits, a walk and two hit batsmen. He struck out two. Greg Suber came on in relief in the fifth with one on and none out, working the final three innings, allowing three runs, two earned on five hits and a walk. He fanned two.