BATAVIA – An unearned run in the top of the 10th gave Blanchester a 2-1 win over Clermont Northeastern Friday at Midland Baseball Complex in a Reds Futures High School Showcase game.
“This was a well-played game both ways,” BHS head coach Aaron Lawson said. “Honestly, it was probably the best high school game I’ve every been part of. Both pitchers were dealing, defenses were solid and hitters were putting the ball in play.”
With the game tied 1-1, Blanchester took the lead in the 10th inning. Justin Ballard singled and moved to third on a pair of groundouts. Ballard then came home when Dustin Howard reached base on an infield error by the Rockets, Lawson said.
Brody Rice went the final four innings on the mound to pick up the win. He replaced starter Jacksson Waialae in the seventh inning. Rice struck out four and Waialae fanned nine.
“Hats off to Jackson for another great performance,” said Lawson. “When it’s his day to pitch, we expect to win. He got in a couple jams but made pitches when he had to. He also was MVP of the game. Congrats for that. Something to be very proud of.
“Brody didn’t miss a beat from Jacksson. Looked just as sharp.”
Jack Davidson had a sacrifice fly to plate Cole Ficke with the first Blanchester run in the fourth inning.
The win puts BHS at 8-6 overall and 7-0 in the National Division of the SBAAC.
“This was a huge win for us from a team perspective,” Lawson said. “CNE is a very good team. It should give us the confidence we need to play with anyone. I am very happy for the team and what they were able to accomplish.”