Bellaire downs UL in baseball
CAMBRIDGE – The scene looked more suited for a mystery novel than a high school baseball game.
With fog beginning to envelope the outfield at Don Coss Field, Bellaire put the finishing touches on a 12-4 Ohio Division III sectional baseball triumph against Union Local that didn’t end until almost 11:30 p.m.
”We lost a center fielder for a while in the fog,” Bellaire head coach John Patrone joked.
With the first game of Monday’s twinbill between Barnesville and West Muskingum delayed by weather twice, the contest between the Big Reds and Jets didn’t begin until about 8:20 p.m.
No matter, Bellaire’s potent offense still showed up, although it took it a while to get warmed up.
”I’m proud of the guys,” Patrone said. ”We executed when we needed to.
”We were a little more aggressive. I didn’t know, with the field conditions, if we’d be able to, but we capitalized on some things they did and we didn’t give them too many extra outs and give them too many opportunities to do any damage.
”All in all, I’m happy with how we played and, hopefully, we’ll all get back safe and get some sleep.”
The Big Reds will return to City Park later this week to face the winner of today’s game between St. Clairsville and Monroe Central for a berth in the Steubenville district tournament.
Bellaire got on the board first in the second when Bralen Snell laced a two-out, two-strike double scoring Brendon Ross and Tyler Ramsey.
The Jets trimmed the lead to 2-1 in the third when Matt Dunfee hit into a double play, but scored Shane Smolenak.
In the bottom of the third, Bellaire plated two more, making the count 4-1.
Nick Patrone led off with a bunt single and then went to second on a wild pitch. After a Spencer Badia flyout sent Patrone to third, he scored on a passed ball.
Later, Ross singled and stole second. In trying to steal third, a throwing error allowed him to score.
The Jets got their first two runners on in the fourth, before a pair strikeouts by Patrone seemed to thwart the threat.
But Nick Bilyeu came through with a bases-clearing single scoring Tristen Bruce and Dalton Toto trimming the Bellaire lead to 4-3.
Union Local eventually loaded the bases and chased Patrone from the game. Badia came in and retired the final batter ending what would be ULs most-potent scoring threat of the night.
Bellaire plated four in the fourth, all with two outs. Nick Hall laced a two-RBI single, while Badia and Ross also recorded RBI hits.
Eric Dunfee scored on a wild pitch in UL’s half of the sixth, but the Big Reds came back with another four-run inning to put the game away. Tyler Ramsey belted an RBI double, while Nathan Steele followed with an RBI single.
”Give them credit, they took advantage of our mistakes,” Union Local head coach Pec Schmidt said.
”Patrone did a great job and we left too many guys on base. But, mental mistakes were the name of the game.”
UL 001 201 0 – 4 2 4
Bellaire 022 404 x – 12 8 1
U – M.Dunfee lp (3K, 5W), Powell (5) (1K, 2W) and Hearn (6) (0K, 0W) and Stewart. M.Dunfee rbi; Bilyeu S, 2rbi.
B – Patrone wp (2K, 7W), Badia (4K, 3W) and Back. Hall S, 2rbi; Badia S, rbi; Westlake rbi; Ross S, rbi; Ramsey D rbi; Steele S, rbi; Snell S, 2rbi.
Thorp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org