Howard pitches, Rice hits Wildcats to victory 5-2

BLANCHESTER – Dustin Howard went the distance on the mound and Blanchester made it five wins in a row Monday with a 5-2 victory over Felicity in SBAAC National Division baseball at Bott Field.

The Wildcats are 5-3 in the division, third behind unbeatens Bethel-Tate and Clermont Northeastern. BHS is 7-6 overall.

Felicity is now 1-10, 1-7.

“Hats off to Dustin Howard for giving us all he had on the mound,” BHS coach Aaron Lawson said. “He got out of his own jams and made pitches when he had to with runners on a base. Just a gutsy performance.”

Howard’s performance was the fifth complete game in the last six outings for BHS starting pitchers.

“They have really started to step it up and become the reason for our turn around,” Lawson said. “It is very hard to be better than your pitching. Strikes and defense will win you a lot of games.”

The teams were tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth when Brody Rice ripped a laser over the left field fence. Rice just missed a homer earlier in the at-bat but the ball went foul.

“Hitting is contagious,” said Lawson. “Sometimes that’s all you need is someone to get a big hit to wake the bats up.”

BHS added two insurance runs in the inning, finally connecting against a tough Cardinals right-hander who used a “good, two-seam fastball” to get a lot of ground balls against the ‘Cats, Lawson said.

Mason Rector had two hits and knocked in a run for the Wildcats. Christian Stubbs, Hayden Tedrick (double), Adam Frump, Trenton Czaika and Regan Burch also had hits for Blan. Tedrick and Frump drove in runs.