By John Bombatch
XENIA — The host Xenia Scouts turned a pitcher’s duel into a slugfest, to win Thursday’s Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League baseball game 8-1 over the Licking County Settlers.
The Scouts (5-5) scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break open a tight contest. Xenia second-year manager Bubba Cates said the game was closer than the Grady’s Field scoreboard might suggest.
“It looks a little different than it was. We got five (runs) right there at the end, but up to that point it’s a 3-1 ballgame. They had the tying run at the plate (in the seventh) with their best hitter up, too. So it was a closer ball game than that,” Cates said.
Starting pitcher Caleb Fernholz, a junior from the University of St. Thomas, limited the Settlers (3-8) to a pair of hits through his first six innings of work. But when he gave up three hits in the seventh and the Settlers’ lone run of the contest, Cates sent Troy native Trenton Wood in to pitch in relief. Wood, of Mount Vernon Nazarene, gave up one Licking County hit the rest of the way.
“Caleb has thrown good for us already, but that was his best outing this season for us,” Cates said. “And Trenton did a nice job in relief, too. This was a tough game to play defensively, because the wind was blowing all over. So really, our entire team did a nice job defensively, too.”
Xenia sent 10 batters to the plate in the eighth inning, whapping seven hits and scoring five runs. Jeremy Barth, Colt Wolfe, Chandler Adkins, Donald Ring and Evan McDonald each scored in the inning.
All but one Xenia batter reached base in Thursday’s game. Andrew College freshman Cary Holloway led the hitting attack with four hits in four at-bats. Adkins, a Lipscomb University freshman catcher, went 3-for-4 with a single, double, triple, two runs scored and two runs batted in.
The win marks the fourth time that the Scouts have had an even season record.
“I’d like to see us finally get over .500 (Friday). That’ll be our goal, at least,” Cates said.
The two teams play at 7:05 p.m. today at Grady’s Field on the Athletes In Action Sports Complex.