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Scouts break losing streak, beat Mariners 11-5

Scouts break losing streak, beat Mariners 11-5

By Luke Severt, Xenia Scouts beat writer

 July 9, 2018


CELINA, Ohio- Throughout one of the most bizarre games of the season, the Xenia Scouts were focused on one thing: getting the monkey off their backs.


The monkey that was a seven game losing streak was finally sent back to the jungle on Sunday evening, as the Scouts beat the Grand Lake Mariners by a final score of 11-5 in 10 innings in Celina, Ohio.


“Everybody’s in the dugout talking about getting the monkey off our back, and you definitely feel a sense of relief,” said outfielder Luke Boylson.


Both teams were locked in a stalemate after regulation, tied at 5-5, and the game required extra innings. They would only need one more frame, however, as the Scouts offense exploded for six runs in the top of 10th to break the game wide open.


It began with back-to-back walks, before Boylson came off the bench to pinch hit and blistered a ball off the wall in left field, scoring the go-ahead run. Lester and Boylson both jokingly agreed that he needs to “hit the weight room,” and that if he would have done so, he may have been able to hit his second homer of the year.


“I was just trying to get my best swings off,” said Boylson. “I was a little cold, you know sitting the whole game, and then he threw me a 1-2 slider over the plate. I was choked up a little bit, and just tried to stay through the ball.”


But they weren’t satisfied with just one. Following Boylson, catcher Truman Brown had an RBI base hit. Shortstop Nick Tuttle, who had an RBI earlier in the contest, came through with a two-run single. Graham Welch and Zach Bacon also drove in a run in the big inning.


“It’s really exciting, but it’s not surprising at all,” said Boylson about his team’s lengthy rally. We’ve already done it a couple times this year. In a game, as long as we’re in it, it’s gonna happen eventually. We just kinda wait for that, and we build off of it.”


Bacon, who started the game at second base, was cooking on Sunday. He finished with three RBI, two hits and two walks. In one of the rarities in the beautiful game of baseball, Bacon, who is usually not a pitcher, was tasked with taking the mound for the last 2 2/3 innings of the ballgame, and was named the winning pitcher. He was nothing short of stellar, as he gave up no runs and no hits and only walked one batter. He also retired the Mariners in order in the bottom of the 10th, and only needed five pitches to do so.


After the game, Bacon was asked if he has ever pitched at Glenville State, the collegiate team he plays for in the spring, and the answer was no. His mentality was to just throw it across the plate, and “hopefully it misses barrel,” of the opposing hitter’s bat.


It was the second outstanding pitching performance of the night for Xenia, whose pitchers have struggled as of late. Caleb Eder, who started on the mound, only gave up one run and two hits in seven innings of work. The only trouble he had was with his control, which is typically one of his strengths on the mound. He walked a total of nine batters, and hit another with a pitch. Despite his control issues, he still produced one of the best starts the Scouts have gotten out of a pitcher this season.


“He did great,” said Lester. “He gave up, what? Two hits in seven innings? Can’t ask for more.”


Unfortunately for Xenia, their two great pitcher performances were the bread to the sandwich, and the meat was a poor one. It was a rough day for reliever Owen Pyatt, who spoiled a four run Scouts lead in the bottom of the eighth, after they had just rallied from behind 1-0 to score five times and put the Scouts in a position to win.


Pyatt relieved Eder of his duties, and could only record one out before the Mariners had evened the score, and Bacon was brought in to slam the door. The Grand Lake offense scored four runs on two hits, four walks and a hit batsman.


It was a great night for the Scouts offense, as they finished with 11 runs on 13 hits. They had been silenced by the Mariners starter, Bear Bellomy, as he pitched seven scoreless innings, while only giving up three hits. After Bellomy came out of the game, however, the Mariners were forced to use six different pitchers to finish the game. The Xenia offense would score 11 runs on 10 hits against these relievers. “We told the guys, keep battling, keep hitting the baseball, and good things will happen,” said Lester.


For Lester, the win is satisfying, but he will not linger for very long. “It’s good [to win], but we have to come back Tuesday and do the same thing.”