HAMILTON — It was a battle between two teams tied for first in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, but it sure didn’t look that way.
The visiting Xenia Scouts brought seven of their 12 pitchers to the mound, but it didn’t seem to matter. Hamilton scored seemingly at will in a lopsided 9-3 win, Tuesday night at Foundation Field.
The host Joes, nicknamed after Hamilton’s famous son Joe Nuxhall who was the youngest player to play in the Major Leagues and who went on to a storied career as a longtime Cincinnati Reds radio broadcaster, celebrated Faith Night. A lot of that faith appeared to be in their bats as Hamilton rapped out 11 hits in the contest and scored two or more runs in four of the first five innings of play.
The Joe’s Hunter Owen began the scoring binge with a three-run home run that cleared the 360-foot left centerfield fence with ease in the first inning. That erased a brief 1-0 Xenia Scouts lead, courtesy of Scouts lead-off speedster Lee Solomon who singled, stole second, reached third on a Christian Binger single, then tagged up and scored on Kyle Carnahan’s sacrifice fly.
While Hamilton scored twice in the third, fourth and fifth innings, there wasn’t much for Xenia to get excited about until the eighth, when both Solomon and Binger drew back-to-back walks and scored in the inning.
William Kruse took the loss, but Thomas Waning, Tony Campbell, Steve Jurgens, Joseph Chasen, Nicklaus Street and Jordan Shaffer all saw time on the mound.
Shaffer began the game at shortstop. Listed as a pitcher on the Scouts’ roster, Shaffer moved from short and pitched the eighth inning.
Chasen tossed a solid sixth inning. He struckout the Joes’ 3-4-5 hitters in their lineup with a wicked curveball.
Jonathan Bravo collected three of Xenia’s six hits and drove in a run, but failed to score in the game. The Scouts stranded eight base runners in the loss.
There was one scary moment in the fifth inning when starting Joes left fielder Luke Emling was hit in the face with a pitch. Emling, who never went to the ground after the hit, could be seen spitting up blood. Ben Hummell pinch ran for Emling who did not return. One Joes parent was overheard saying that Emling would require stitches in his mouth, but that he was okay.
With the win, Hamilton (14-5) moves into first place in the GLSCL all by themselves, while Xenia falls a game behind at 14-7.
The two teams return to action at Hamilton’s Foundation Field at 7:05 p.m. tonight.