XENIA — Trailing by one run with the game on the line, Xenia Christian’s fielders had the Franklin Monroe batter played to hit to right field, just as he had done his previous three times to the plate.
They were wrong.
This time, with the bases loaded, Daniel Wiseman lined a shot down the third-base line to clear the bases and earn the Jets a 10-6 win, Monday, in the Division IV sectional tournament opener for both teams.
“Gap-to-gap, middle-to-middle, whatever you want to call it, we want to try and use all parts of the field,” said Franklin Monroe coach Justin Wilson. “He’s actually been doing a pretty good job of hitting the ball down the left-field line. That’s where he usually hits it, but I wasn’t going to tell them that.”
Just the fact Xenia Christian had clawed back into the game was a feat in itself. Coupled with four errors, the Ambassadors trailed 7-0 through 3 1/2 innings of play. But they slowly battled back.
First, David Kensinger scored on Dylan Holley’s fourth-inning single to right field.
Then Xenia Christian sent 10 batters to the plate in the fifth inning, and Sam Barber, Kensinger, Tyler Johnson, Tyler Keifer and Austin Frueh each scored to pull within one run, trailing 7-6.
Xenia Christian loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning with one out, but Jets ace Zach Hyre got the next Ambassadors batter to hit into an inning killing third-to-first double play. Franklin Monroe third baseman Wiseman took the grounder, stepped on third for the forceout, then fired to first to complete the play.
Then Wiseman did his heroics with his bat to put the game out of reach.
“We shifted to where we thought he was going to hit the ball. He actually got kind of a late swing on it to send it right down the line,” said Xenia Christian coach John Augustine. “But that’s baseball, what’re you going to do?
“I was really proud of the way they battled back. It was looking kind of ugly there for awhile.”
Augustine said there were four seniors who were not with the team, because they chose to go on their Senior Trip. So several Ambassadors players were playing out of position. He credited starter Austin Frueh and reliever Tyler Johnson with solid outings on the mound.
Xenia Christian finishes the 2014 season with a 6-9 record.
Franklin Monroe, now 4-15, has the task of facing Cross County Conference foe and top seed Tipp City Bethel on Wednesday in the next round. Wilson said the Jets lost to Bethel, 5-1, earlier this season.