MIAMISBURG — With a quality defensive effort behind him, Bellbrook senior pitcher Nathan Coffey had a solid performance from the mound in a Division II sectional final matchup against Carlisle, Thursday at Miamisburg High School.
“You just have to get out there and do what you’ve gotta do. I trust everyone who plays behind me, and hopefully they trust me,” Coffey said. “I didn’t have my best stuff today. I wasn’t finding and hitting my spots like I normally do, but again my field played really well and the whole team did a great job and that’s what helped me out the most. They’re great. They do everything they can to help me out and I trust them more than anything.”
The Golden Eagles (22-7) gutted out a defensive win, beating the Indians (20-9), 3-1. The future Marietta Pioneer allowed just three hits, three walks and one run, striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings. Coffey was taken out after allowing a hit and giving up a walk in the top of the seventh, but junior Josh Rogers did a solid job in relief. After throwing a ball in the dirt that advanced runners to second and third, he fanned two straight batters to end the game.
“That kid battles all year. We were looking for probably three or four innings from him today. He’s had a rough week, but he kept battling,” said Bellbrook coach Rich Demko about his starter. “He kept hitters off balance, he didn’t just chuck the baseball, and he hit spots and his defense made some plays behind him. A gutsy performance by the senior.”
Carlisle senior Josh Tarter had a good day from the mound as well, striking out six and giving up three runs on eight hits, but the Golden Eagles were able to get runs early and that was the difference in the game. In the first inning, Casey Demko was walked and then stole second. He scored on an error from the Carlisle shortstop off an Alex Fryman liner. In the third inning, Demko hit a triple that scored Chase Buttery, and Fryman brought Demko home for the second time in the game.
“That kid’s got a good arm. I’ll give them a lot of credit. They’re a good baseball team, he threw the ball well,” said Demko. “We talked all week about being aggressive and not letting a good pitcher get ahead of us. We tried to be aggressive on good pitches and we squared some balls up there and drove some balls in the gaps and that was the difference early on. Our goal was to score early and we did.”
Currently, Bellbrook is scheduled to play Tipp City Tippecanoe at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mason High School. Demko said the team is trying to reschedule the game to a night game to avoid a scheduling conflict with Bellbrook’s Saturday commencement.