BELLBROOK — The second-seeded Bellbrook Golden Eagles didn’t look like they were expecting much of a fight when they took on eighth-seeded Alter, Thursday at Bellbrook High School in the second round of the Division II sectionals, but they got one.
Bellbrook (21-7) got down early, but clawed its way back into the game and eventually won in walk-off fashion in nine innings, 6-5.
“It’s a win. We got into a hole. We got our number one pitcher out there, and he elevated some pitches and they swung. A guy put a good move on a baseball and right away it was three - nothing,” said Bellbrook coach Rich Demko. “They swung it pretty good, I’ll give them credit. They attacked the fastball, which is what we throw a lot of times to get ahead, and they attacked it. We had to play from behind the whole game.”
The Knight who got a good swing against Bellbrook’s senior pitcher Nathan Coffey was Alex Pack. After David Zelinski and Richard Nolde reached base before him, Pack hit a three-run homer to left. Andrew Seifert scored one more run for the Knights (6-16) in the inning, giving them an early 4-0 lead.
Pack was 4-for-4 in the game with three RBIs and three stolen bases.
Bellbrook made a dent in Alter’s lead in the bottom of the second, scoring two runs on three hits. Senior Austin Hall reached and was immediately brought home by a deep double from Riley Brown. Brown then scored off a double from junior Josh Rogers.
The Golden Eagles couldn’t really get their bats going after that. Through the next four innings, they scored only two runs on six hits. With the game tied at four runs a piece in the top of the sixth inning, Zelinski knocked a solo-home run to right field for the Knights. Brad Schockman then stepped up huge for Alter in the bottom of the inning, fanning the next three Bellbrook batters.
Coffey pitched well to start the seventh inning. He got the first two batters two ground out, but then he lost a batter after being up 0-2 and then gave up a single. Demko brought Brown in as relief and he got the next batter to pop up.
“Our senior pitchers today, I’ll give both of them a lot of credit. Our first guy didn’t have the stuff he had all year, but our other senior pitcher came in and we got out of a jam,” said Demko.
It would take some heroics in the seventh just to keep Bellbrook alive. Joe Mezzanotte was tagged out at second after getting a hit into centerfield. Chase Buttery reached on a single to left, but Casey Demko grounded out for the second out.
“We told them early on, we have got to work hard to manufacture runs and that was no different in the seventh. We had to find a way to get a run,” said Demko. “I came down to talk to [Alex Fryman] with two outs and he said, ‘I got this.’ I knew he had it, I knew he had it. There’s wasn’t anything I was going to tell him. He knew what he had to do and he came up big.”
Fryman punched a double to left field to tie the game at five. The next batter popped up and the game went to extra innings. Alter’s productivity slowed significantly, getting just two hits in the final two innings. Bellbrook’s experience showed, as they loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, and Hall cracked a line drive to left field scoring Buttery and giving the Golden Eagles the win.
“They never gave up. We were down 4-0 and we scratched back … so I think this will give us some energy going into the next round and I’m really proud about the guys’ fight,” said Demko.
Bellbrook moves on to face third seed, Carlisle, at 5 p.m. Thursday May 22 at Miamisburg High School.
Bellbrook Softball crushes Monroe
The Lady Eagles upset Monroe High School in the second round of the D-II sectional softball round 21-9. After going down 9-4 through three innings, Bellbrook caught fire and had seven runs in the fourth alone. They had seventeen hits in the game and held the Hornets scoreless throughout the rest of the game behind a solid pitching effort from Haleigh Perry. They will face Valley View at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Centerville High School. A complete story will run in Saturday’s paper.