XENIA — Beating the cold, windy conditions and dwindling light, Xenia also defeated West Carrollton to get its coach his first win.
The Bucs used a seven-run fourth inning to rattle the Pirates and take control of the game in a 10-7 win on Tuesday in its season opener at home.
First-year head coach Brandon Salyers was all smiles in getting his first win on the bench along with his team.
“There’s a lot of anxiety of course leading up to this, but the boys played hard, they came back, they fought back,” he said. “We faced a little adversity and pulled through the other side.”
Xenia trailed 6-3 heading into its big inning where it sent 13 hitters to the plate, starting with a dropped third strike hustle play by Aiden Solis to get to first in time before the throw. Following a walk, three straight hits scored two runs to bring the Bucs within one and loaded the bases as well.
After a strikeout for the first out, a single by Jackson Tate hitting in the cleanup spot tied the score and was followed up by another from Ethan Wells to take the lead. Solis batting for the second time in the frame got his second hit of the game to load the bases again, which lead to the final run of the inning coming via a walk by Devin Siebel.
Xenia had 14 hits in the game and successfully reached base 17 times, not counting the dropped strikeout and two other errors by the Pirates.
“The kids came out and they swung the bat really, really well,” Salyers said. “That’s super encouraging going forward.”
Aaron Adkins started on the mound and was crucial in giving his hitters a chance at a comeback. He struck out eight and only allowed three hits in his five innings on the mound. Despite have six runs scored against him, none came from allowing a West Carrollton batter to get a hit.
“There was a lot of walks and there’s a lot of errors,” Salyers said. “But the mark of a good player is to bear down and get the outs when they’re needed.”
Adkins got out of a tough first inning which saw two Pirates score, but settled things in the second. Beginning with one out in the third, he only allowed one WC hitter to put a ball in play during a full trip through the lineup, producing five strikeouts during that stretch.
After WC created a jam with two-on and one out in the fifth, Adkins got out of it with a strikeout and groundout he calmly collected himself for the out at first.
“When he closed out the fifth inning, I mean that right there, that’s a competitor,” Salyers said. “He battled through all that adversity and shut it down.”
Ethan Williamson hurled the last two innings to secure the win.
Siebel reached base in all three of his plate appearances batting in the ninth spot with two hits, two runs scored and two RBI. Solis lead the lineup with three hits. Wells had two hits and a team-high three RBI, two of which came on a third-inning triple to pull Xenia within one.
Evan Harbison, Nate Fellie, and Tate all added two singles as well.