The Big Walnut baseball team has made a solid impression in the Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division this season. This week they made believers of the Hayes Pacers.
For the second time in three days, the Golden Eagles posted a 10-spot on the Pacers, this time scoring five runs in the fifth inning to finish off an 11-1, five inning victory over Hayes Friday at Big Walnut High School.
“Hayes is always a tough team, and we knew (senior Jacob) Bosiokovic was on the mound, so we were a little amped up for the game,” Big Walnut coach Chris Holly said. “He’s a good pitcher, one of the best in the league, but we were ready for him. We got timely hits all throughout the lineup and put the ball in play.”
“They did a nice job,” Hayes coach Mike Yinger said. “Big Walnut is tough. They’re a very strong team. They play well as a team, their coaches are doing a nice job and they’ll do well in Division II. I’m excited for them. I think they’re going to have a very good season.”
Big Walnut (13-4, 6-2 OCC Capital) didn’t go an inning without having at least two runners on base, but received its best effort of the day on the mound, where senior right-hander Aaron Gase allowed just a run, two hits and a hit batsman while striking out six Hayes (8-8, 3-5) hitters over five innings for the win.
“We got a good pitching performance from Aaron,” Holly said. “He did a good job, kept them off-balance and held them to two hits tonight. We’ve been very pleased with the way he’s been pitching.”
“Their pitcher did a nice job and their defense played well behind them,” Yinger said. “They’re a solid team and they’re fun. They are competitive and they’re fun to watch because they like to compete.”
Even better, the Golden Eagles played errorless baseball while the Pacers had four errors in the game, making six of the 11 Big Walnut runs unearned against Bosiokovic and senior reliever Aaron Heber.
“We played an error-free game, which is always nice,” Holly said. “We work hard at trying to make the other team beat us and not beating ourselves, and today we did that.”
Big Walnut opened the scoring in the second when junior Max McLean singled and scored on a hit by senior third baseman Aaron Shaw.
The Golden Eagles added four more runs, helped by two Hayes errors, in the third. Senior shortstop Tyler Beam singled, took second on an error off the bat of senior catcher Aaron Dattilo, went to third on a fielder’s choice off senior Ben Romer’s bat, and scored on a wild pitch.
Sophomore outfielder Jeremy Bok then drew a walk and Gase singled through the right side, scoring junior pinch runner Drew Dattilo and sending Bok to third. Gase reached second on a fielding error on a sacrifice by junior second baseman Cole Harbin, and McLean hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Bok.
Hayes got its run in the fourth when Bosiokovic was hit by a pitch, stole second, took third on a one-out single by sophomore outfielder Conner Ulmer, and scored on a ground out by senior designated hitter Austin Terry.
But Big Walnut answered with two more runs in the bottom half of the fourth. Romer doubled down the right field line with one out to score senior outfielder Grant Beam from second, and Aaron Dattilo scored on a wild pitch directly after.
The Golden Eagles then ended the game early with their five-run fifth. Grant Beam drove in Harbin with a single, Tyler Beam pushed a run home by reaching on an error and Romer drew a bases-loaded walk in the inning before Gase belted a two-run single up the middle, scoring Tyler Beam and Aaron Dattilo with the tallies that invoked the run rule.
Gase, Grant Beam and McLean had two singles apiece and combined for five RBIs, Gase driving in three runs. Romer added his double and two RBIs while Tyler Beam, Harbin and Shaw had a single each, Beam and Shaw also driving in a run each.
Bosiokovic lasted just the first three innings and took the loss, allowing just one earned run, four hits and three walks while fanning four. Heber pitched the final inning and two thirds, giving up four earned runs, six hits and three walks with one strikeout.
Conner Ulmer’s fourth inning single and a leadoff single in the fifth by sophomore infielder Jake South were Hayes’ lone two hits of the game.