BATAVIA – Preston Griffin raced home on a passed ball to give Blanchester a thrilling 9-8 win over Washington Senior in a non-league baseball game at the Midland Baseball Complex in Clermont County.
The Wildcats, 14-8 on the year, were down 6-1 to a Blue Lions squad that was 15-6 and champions of the fledgling Frontier Athletic Conference, BHS coach Aaron Lawson said. Lawson lamented the early-game pitching and defensive lapses.
“Walks and a couple errors,” he said. “Once we cleaned it up, we got our foot in the door and gave ourselves a chance. This team is real good when we don’t beat ourselves.”
With the score tied at 8-8 and Griffin on third, a Washington pitch was mishandled by the catcher.
“It didn’t kick far from the catcher but with Preston’s speed, he got a great jump and beat the pitcher to the plate,” said Lawson. “What a way to walk away with the win. This was a great win for us heading in to next week. It should give us confidence and momentum heading into tournament play.”
Justin Ballard had a big night for the Wildcats.
”He made a diving catch in right and doubled the kid off second, pitched in relief and walked away with the win, and had a couple hits while driving in some runs. He was everywhere tonight,” said Lawson.
Ballard finished 3-for-3 with three RBI and was hit by a pitch.
Also for BHS, Dustin Howard had a triple; Brody Rice collected two hits; Griffin went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice and run batted in; Trenton Czaika had a two-run pinch-hit single.