One Giant, four Bengals and no Indians

OHSAA baseball and softball tournament action gets underway this week and next as the regular season schedules wind down.

In D-II baseball, Greenville’s Green Wave earned an eight-seed and take on eleven-seed Ponitz next Tuesday at home, game time 5:00. The Wave are currently 6-16, paced by junior pitcher Alex Kolb, ranked 4th in the MVL with 55 strikeouts.

Other high seeds among county schools are Tri-Village (3rd), Bradford (4th), and FranklinMonroe (5th) in different D-IV districts.

In softball pairings, the number 3 state-ranked Lady Wave, who should have a 27-1 record by the time you read this, including a perfect 18-0 MVL mark, are seeded first in D-II play.

Other highly regarded teams are two-seed Arcanum in D-III and in D-IV action one-seed and number four state ranked Bradford, led by Ohio University signee, pitcher Skip Miller.

Good luck to all county teams; one hot streak at the right time can lead to a deep march through the brackets!

Willie Mays, the “Say Hey Kid”, turned 90 last week, which makes a lot of us feel old! A true superstar, he could do it all with flair; field, throw, run, hit for power, and hit for average. Very few of his era could be mentioned in the same paragraph—Mantle, Aaron, Clemente, Banks, Robinson, and, earlier, Musial and Williams, along with very few others.

One of the saddest sights I’ve seen was his last year playing for the Mets, just a shadow of his former self. Just like Albert Pujols, who was released by the Angels last week and will be a sure first ballot Hall of Famer, the greats who find the game so easy sometimes don’t know when it’s time to hang up the spikes. Hats off to the Giants’ “Say Hey Kid”; he brought joy to many!!

Congratulations to GHS tennis player, and might I add prom queen, Emily Marchal for being named to the Miami Valley Tennis Coaches Association all-area second team singles in D-II. After an outstanding career for Coach Jim Koontz’s squad, the senior belonged with the stellar netters from Oakwood, Alter, Tipp, and Eaton in earning plaudits. She’ll be following in the family footsteps and attending Norte Dame University in the fall.

Don’t forget the Memorial Golf Tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio June 3-6. Host Jack Nicklaus has once again reworked the course to challenge some of the big hitters on the PGA tour by altering greens, moving traps, etc. If you get the chance to attend, the grounds, competition, and atmosphere are well worth the less than two hour drive. The pros play an entirely different game than duffers like myself!!

The Bengals, as always a few years behind the league in just about everything, are finally inducting an inaugural class into a “Ring of Honor” around PBS Stadium later this fall. Founder and Coach Paul Brown and all-time great offensive tackle Anthony Munoz will be joined by two others to be selected by season ticket holders from a list of seventeen former players, all worthy of consideration. For what it’s worth, I’d vote for Ken Anderson who quarterbacked the team from 1971 to 1986 and led them to their first Super Bowl appearance in 1982 and receiver Isaac Curtis (1973-84). Why they decided to have only four inductees instead of at least six in the first group of honorees I’ll never know, but hey, they’re the Bengals!

Finally, what a great game southpaw Wade Miley threw against the Indians last Friday night! The 17th no-hitter in Reds’ history was a masterpiece of pitching as only 3 balls left the infield. Miley recorded 8 Ks and outdueled Tribe hurler Zach Plesac who held the Reds scoreless for 8 innings. Miley was in the easy chair all night on the mound and, unlike most pitchers of today, wasted little time between pitches, a fact most appreciated by his fielders and fans alike.

Four no-hitters have been tossed already this year in the majors, a result of free-swinging, go for the fences batters and outstanding pitching. The Indians were completely shut down for the second time this young season, having also been no-hit on April 14th by White Sox left hander Carlos Rodon.

Seems like the boys from Cleveland have trouble with lefties! That’s what happens when you have a .213 team batting average through the first 30 games! Until next time, stay healthy and active!

https://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/web1_Dr.-Alex-Warner-1-4.jpg

By Dr. Alex Warner

Shots in the Darke

Dr. Alex Warner is a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate