GREENVILLE – The Green Wave got a one-hitter from freshman Warren Hartzell to defeat the visiting Piqua Indians 5-2 in a Monday night GWOC baseball game played at Sater Park.
“I couldn’t ask for more from the guys tonight,” said Greenville coach Eric Blumenstock. “We had a really tough beginning of the year schedule wise. Anytime you have Butler twice, Tipp City twice, Troy twice – it takes a toll on you especially when we’re as young as we are.”
“We have sophomores and freshmen in our starting lineup,” Blumenstock added, “quite a few of them. Anytime they come out and play a good solid game – there was a one-hitter tonight from a freshman.”
Greenville took advantage of a Piqua error to plate the game’s first run and give the Wave a 1-0 lead after two innings of play.
Piqua senior Owen Toopes opened play in the top of the third with a single to left in what would prove to be the Indians’ lone hit of the night. Coupled with a walk and an error, the Indians took a 2-1 lead with Greenville coming to the plate in the bottom of the inning.
Landon Eldridge drilled a 3-1 pitch over home run the leftfield wall to lead off the bottom of the third and knot the score at 2-2.
Tyler Beyke reached by way of a one out walk and moved to second on a single to center off the bat of Hartzell setting up a double steal with Beyke moving to third and Hartzell swiping second.
Tony Sells made it a 4-2 game with a single to right plating two runs sending the game to the fourth inning with Greenville up two.
Neither team would dent the plate in innings four and five and Piqua would go down in order in the top of the sixth bringing the Wave to the plate.
Ethan Saylor coaxed a one out walk, stole second and scored on a two out Grant Minnich single to left putting the Wave up 5-2 with the game heading the seventh and final inning.
The Greenville freshmen set Piqua down in order in the top of the seventh with a strike out, a popup to Beyke at short and a highlight reel diving catch by Wave centerfield Reed Hanes to give Greenville the GWOC win and preserve Hartzell’s one hitter.
One starting freshman pitcher for a GWOC school is not the norm. Hartzell is just one of three Greenville freshman making the varsity starting rotation for Coach Blumenstock giving Wave baseball a bright future.
“I’ve had some really good pitchers on my teams in the past but I’ve never had freshmen that have come out and competed like Warren (Hartzell) and Alex Cole have,” said Blumenstock.
Tyler Beyke went 2-3 with a walk and a run scored, Grant Minnich was 2-4 and a RBI and Landon Eldridge was 1-4 with a home run, a RBI and a run.
Warren Hartzell was 2-4 with a run scored, Tony sells went 1-2 with 2-RBIs, Reed Hanes was 2-3 with a run and Ethan Saylor had a walk and scored a run.
“We’re facing a pitcher that is going to play D-I, pitching D-I college baseball or D-II or D-III,” Blumenstock said of the GWOC schedule. “It’s always a college pitcher on somebody’s team in the GWOC. Tipp City had two kids that are going to throw in college and last year we had two.”
“I think the freshmen we have right now will be the same way,” continued Blumenstock. “You’re just consistently seeing 85 miles per hour plus and they are throwing strikes at us.”
Greenville outhit Piqua 10-1 to improve the Wave season record to 5-9 and 3-6 in conference play while Piqua slides to 8-6 and 5-5 in GWOC play.”
“Piqua was 8-5 coming into today,” concluded Blumenstock. “They had a win over Tipp City last week so it’s a good baseball team that we beat today and that’s what we need to keep doing. Just got to keep these freshmen rolling…that’s what we need.”