BEAVERCREEK — Scoring just barely more runs than they have seniors, Beavercreek claimed a 12-2 run-ruled Senior Day win over a young Carroll team on a cold April 28 afternoon at Beavercreek High.
With solid senior righthander Austin Nuessgen on the mound, the Beavers played like a ball club with 11 seniors on its roster.
After sophomore Clay Cash brought in the game’s first run with a first inning infield groundout, senior Drew Dillon tripled to right field to bring in Beavercreek’s second run.
Seniors Justin Kauflin, Cody Hocker, Jake Maloney and Bryce Neuse connected for four straight hits in the second inning. Sophomore Nolan Frisk then continued the hitting with a bunt single.
A moment of confusion as to who should cover Frisk’s slow roller between third base and the pitcher’s mound seemed to unravel the younger Carroll Patriots defensively. Beavercreek scored six runs in the inning, and Carroll never seemed to quite get back into focus.
“It’s Senior Day, so it’s good to get everybody some at-bats and some starts together,” Beavercreek coach Brandon Long said between games. His Beavers had a second game scheduled with Alter, and so he was doing interviews while making out his second-game scorecard. “(Carroll coach) Mike Sheets is a great guy. I enjoy playing his teams every year. It’s always a good game between us.”
Other celebrating Beavercreek seniors are Gary DeMartino, Matt DeShields, Drew Dillon, starting pitcher Austin Nuessgen, Corey Bennett, Brandon DeWitt and Joey Riedel. Nuessgen unofficially limited Carroll to two hits — both by sophomore second baseman Martin O’Grady — in the five-inning contest.
Down 9-0 in the fifth inning, Carroll’s Matthew McMahan was hit by a Nuessgen pitch, advanced to second on Jacob Maurer’s groundout to third, then scored the Patriots’ first run on a Beavercreek throwing error. Martin O’Grady singled to right to knock in Mason Lauricella with the Patriots’ second run.
Then the cold weather may have froze Carroll’s pitching arms. The Patriots gave up three Beavercreek runs on six walks in the final fifth inning.
“Unfortunately for us, this game was kind of an example of what we’ve run into this year,” Carroll coach Mike Sheets said. “When things go badly for us, they seem to go all at once. It’s been some physical errors, but we have a lot of stuff that we’re just not doing as far as communication between the players, as to where to throw the ball. That kinda thing.
“It’s stuff we work on in practice, but it doesn’t seem to carry over to the game. I don’t know whether that is from inexperience or what, but it’s been a rough season like that. Our pitching today wasn’t too bad, but that has been a weak point for us this year, too.”
Sheets said Deonte Banks did a solid job of pitching in relief after Beavercreek’s six-run second inning. O’Grady collected the team’s two hits, and the coach liked junior infielder Trent Randall’s defensive play at third base and shortstop as well.
Fittingly on Senior Day, several Beavercreek seniors had good days in the Carroll win. Drew Dillon hit a triple and a double, walked twice and knocked in three runs, Hocker had a pair of hits and scored a run, and Neuse singled, scored twice and drove in two runs.
Carroll has games every day during the week of April 30 through May 5. They were at Fenwick on Monday, then will host Badin on Tuesday.
Beavercreek has two big Greater Western Ohio Conference National East battles with division rival Centerville up next. The two played on Monday, then the Beavers head to Centerville for the second game at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 1. The Beavers entered the two-game series with a one-game lead over the Elks in the divisional race.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.