BLANCHESTER – A trio of East Clinton pitchers outdueled Blanchester’s Brody Rice and the Astros scratched out a 2-1 win over the Wildcats in SBAAC National Division baseball action at Bott Field.
The Wildcats still lead the division with a 7-1 record but the Astros are within striking distance at 6-2. The teams play one more game against each other during the regular season.
Blanchester is 10-7 overall. East Clinton is 7-6.
“Tonight our pitchers stepped up,” EC coach Brian Carey said. “We did not hit the best tonight but we made the hits we got count.”
Brandon Norris, the winning pitcher, Matthew Mitchell and Matthew Hall allowed a combined four hits and walked four but kept the Wildcats offense quiet most of the night. Hall earned the save with two scoreless innings to end the game.
“Neither team hit,” BHS coach Aaron Lawson said. “We put the ball in play but had too many fly balls. We cannot fly out 10 times and expect good things to happen.”
Rice, the BHS freshman hurler, gave up just two hits and struck out nine. Only one of the runs he allowed was earned.
“A leadoff error that led to a run and a few hustle plays were the difference,” Lawson said. “It’s a shame we couldn’t get one for Brody. He pitched his tail off.”
With the Astros up 1-0 in the fifth, East Clinton junior Robert Norman came in at the designated hitter position and put down a squeeze bunt to get the second run home.
“Everyone played a great game and the exact way we need to play late in the season,” Carey said.
April 26 2018
East Clinton 2 Blanchester 1
(2) EAST CLINTON (ab-r-h-rbi) Z. Mitchell 3-0-0-0 Michael 3-1-1-0 Smith 2-0-0-0 Arellano 3-0-0-0 M. Mitchell 2-0-0-0 Vadnais 3-1-1-0 Hall 3-0-0-0 Norman 1-0-0-1 Burkitt 2-0-0-0 Dotson 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 22-2-2-1
(1) BLANCHESTER (ab-r-h-rbi) Waialae 3-0-1-0 Ficke 3-0-0-0 Bandow 3-1-2-0 Davidson 2-0-0-0 Howard 3-0-0-1 Rice 3-0-0-0 Patton 2-0-0-0 Farrow 1-0-1-0 Ballard 1-0-0-0 Griffin 2-0-0-0. TOTALS 23-1-4-1
SB: EC-Dotson, M. Mitchell; B-Ficke, Bandow, Davidson
Norris (W) 4.2-2-0-0-3-1
M. Mitchell 0.1-1-1-1-1-0
Hall (S) 2-1-0-0-0-3
Rice (L) 7-2-2-1-1-9