CLAYTON – This past week, the Greenville ACME squad, under the direction of Tray Wolter, claimed the District 7 baseball championship at Northmont High Baseball Stadium
“This is a big fundraiser for our baseball squad at Northmont, and it is quite evident that no one had more fun this past week than the Greenville squad, who came out of the losers’ bracket to claim the district championship and advanced to Coldwater for state,” tournament director Chuck Harlow said.
The road to state started out a rocky one as Greenville fell to Vandalia-Butler in the first round of the double-elimination tournament in heartbreaking fashion, 10-9 in three extra pulsating innings. The game itself featured Greenville’s squad coming in as the No. 2 seed and Vandalia’s Aviators coming in unseeded.
The first inning saw no one score as each squad went quickly three and out. The second inning saw Vandalia score the first run with a single, stolen base and a grounder past the drawn-in infield.
The fourth inning brought smiles to the Wave contingent as they exploded for three runs with outstanding hitting by the top of the lineup including Brandon Beyke, Tyler Netzley and Kyle Mills.
The top of the fifth inning saw the Aviators flying high with five runs to take a 6-3 lead with Owen Paulus coming in to relieve the starting pitcher A.J. Bowers.
Greenville came back to almost knot the score in the bottom of the frame by plating two runs with the help of the middle of the lineup in Tanner Ross, Karsyn Fender and Chris Force.
The Aviators thought they seized the game away in the sixth inning as they extended their advantage to 9-5 with three more runs based on hits and numerous walks.
Working to preserve a 9-5 lead was not a way to make a living for Vandalia as Greenville came up with a wave of hits in the bottom of the seventh inning to knot it all at 9-9 and force extra innings.
Goose eggs were the name of the game in the eighth and ninth innings as no one could dent the scoreboard until the 10th inning when Vandalia slapped a timely hit to give the Aviators a 10-9 advantage as Greenville would not answer in the bottom half to drop the Wave into the losers’ bracket against Darke County rival Versailles, the first seed.
“We have played Vandalia several times and each time it has gone into extra innings, all being high scoring,” Coach Wolter said. “We didn’t get a run in the extra frames, but we got four runs in the seventh inning. I was pleased with the pitching of A.J. Bowers and the hitting of Tanner Ross.”
The Tigers of Versailles were next on the agenda in the losers’ bracket and it was Greenville as the Wave defeated the No. 1 seeded Tigers 10-0 in five innings for a mercy run win.
“Tyler Netzley pitched well as he only gave up four hits the entire game,” Coach Wolter said. “Overall we played well the entire game highlighted by our great defense.”
July 12 saw the Tipp City Red Devils going home red-faced as the Greenville squad bedeviled them 5-2 in another elimination game.
Tipp City drew first blood in the first inning by dropping a key base hit to bring the runner around.
Greenville came back and popped home a run in the second and in the third to take a 2-1 lead. The sixth inning was Greenville’s best as Tyler Netzley got a key double and Peter Pandy pawed a double, which was good for two RBIs to propel the score to 5-1.
Tipp City could only flip in one run to move it to 5-2 as Ross and Paulus came into pitch the sixth and seventh innings for starter Kyle Mills.
“We have never played Tipp before so I did not know what to expect,” Coach Wolter said. “I am sure glad we are getting a second shot at Vandalia for the championship.”
The task was daunting for the Wave as they had to defeat Butler twice to earn the title. The game on Wednesday was finally played after two days of rain at the Yard.
Greenville rained down on Vandalia’s low flying Aviators by out-fueling them, 9-5.
The first inning of the game on Wednesday night showed ground outs and fly outs reigning supreme for both squads.
However, the second inning saw Tanner Ross ripping a double to right field and later scoring on a throwing error. Michael Coby sliced a doubled to center for the second run, making it look cozy at 2-0.
The Butler Aviators seemed out of fuel, but Greenville kept the accelerator on full throttle as the Wave exploded for four runs to make it 6-0 highlighted by Ridgeway, Coby, Netzley and Mills all adding base knocks that knocked the socks off the Vandalia squad.
Vandalia finally plated two runs across in the bottom of the sixth to stop the drought. However, the Wave had more water in reserve and brought in two more runs in the seventh as Ridgeway, Pandy and Force all added key base hits.
Vandalia-Butler peppered in three runs in the bottom of the inning, but it was too little too late as Greenville advanced with a four-run victory to set up a rubber game for Thursday.
The final game saw Wave pitching at its best as Tanner Ross, should perhaps be named
“Fanner” Ross as he fanned four Aviators, who were definitely flying on fumes as Greenville advanced to the state for only the third time in history with a 3-0 victory.
The only scoring came in the bottom of the third inning with Ross, Fender and Forbes making some noise with timely hits.
“I am really happy for the kids as they struggled mightily during the regular season,” Coach Wolter said. “But the kids are resilient and didn’t give up. Tanner Ross did a great job pitching and fielding his position.”