The Xenia Scouts’ first win of the season came after a 24-9 blowout loss to the Lima Locos
By Luke Severt, Xenia Scouts beat writer
June 16, 2018
GALION- The Xenia Scouts’ first win of the season came after a 24-9 blowout loss to the Lima Locos. After another game in which they were dominated by the opposition, a 13-4 loss to the Galion Graders on Thursday, they were tasked with responding to adversity yet again. And they did just that.
The Scouts defeated the Graders 12-9 on Friday, becoming victors for the second time in this young season.
Through six games this season, Xenia has impressed with their pitching, at times. They have had outstanding offensive games. They have shown they can play defense. But the most notable trait of this Scouts team so far, without question, is their resiliency.
“It’s awesome,” said Scouts shortstop Noah Orlando about his team’s ability to bounce back. “Everyday, we talk about winning. After tough losses, it just fires us up even more. We’re going to continue that for the rest of the year and just try to get every win that we can.”
For the four straight games prior to Friday night, Scouts starting pitching has allowed at least one run in the first inning, and unfortunately for Diego Quinones, who got the starting nod on Friday, the trend would continue. He struggled with his control in the first inning and throughout his entire outing, as he hit three batters and walked one, but was able to hold the Graders to one run.
“I was trying to be consistent today,” Quinones said. “But my consistency wasn’t working well. Hopefully next time I’ll come back and pound the zone better.”
With Quinones struggling, the Scouts offense knew that they had a job to do if they wanted to avoid another loss. A Caleb Eder sacrifice fly drove in Ryan Bertelsman to even the score at one in the top of the second, and after a scoreless bottom of the inning from Quinones, Xenia was able to blow the game wide open with a six-hit, four-run top of the third.
With a four-run lead, Quinones knew that he needed to settle in and find the zone, but it seemed as if he was never able to find his zone on the mound throughout the night.
“The first thing that came into my mind was that I have to be comfortable now,” Quinones said. “I knew we were winning the game, and I thought I just needed to pound the zone, because the first two innings I was really wild. But we came away with the victory today, and it was really impressive, because our guys were hitting the ball well today.”
Quinones would end up pitching 3 1/3 innings, giving up six runs on five hits, five hit-batsmen and two walks. Although he may not have been at his best, he was named the winning pitcher on the night.
“We’re all trying to do as best as we can,” said Scouts manager Bubba Cates. “Diego had a little tough night, he made a little trouble for himself that he couldn’t get out of at a time or two, but that’s part of growing up. That’s part of pitching. Most everybody will tell you there are very few times where you go to the mound and you feel like you are 100-percent. So that’s not unusual, but that’s his first time to really start for us. He will just recover and get back to work, and he will do better next time out.”
The Scouts offense was potent on Friday, but it seems as if every time they scored, the Graders were able to score as well. Both teams scored in six of nine innings, but Scouts pitching was able to prevent things from getting out of hand, as four of these innings were only one-run frames for the Graders, and after the third inning, the Scout lead was never smaller than two.
“That was a tough game,” said Cates. “It was not an easy game by any means. Most of the time we’d get another run or two, and then so would they, and the score stayed in reach for them. It important to get that early lead.”
The Scouts were led offensively by Ryan Bertelsman, the designated hitter who had another three-hit game, second baseman Nick Tuttle, who had two base hits, and first baseman Caleb Eder, who had two runs batted in. Orlando had two hits, two RBI and two stolen bases, as well as playing excellent defense at shortstop.
“I feel great,” said Orlando. “I went into the game with a different approach, and got way better results, which is what I have been looking for. Yeah, I get told that my best strength is my glove. I was just born with fast hands, and I just have always worked on ground balls, and the spectacular plays come with it.”
Orlando’s two stolen bases were only a fraction of the team’s total, as they were able to swipe a whopping ten bases on the night. Cates has spoken about the athleticism of his team before, and how he plans on using that to his advantage, but he was surprised to hear that they stole as many bases as they did on Friday.
“We had 10 tonight? Wow. Double digits, that’s pretty good,” said Cates.
“That aggressiveness is good for us, because we’re not a real powerful team. We’ve seen some teams that are like that. This Galion team and the Lima team could both swing it, but we have a dimension that they might not have with our ability to run, and our guys are hungry to do that.”
The loss breaks Galion’s five-game win streak, as they were defeated for the first time this season and fall to 5-1. Meanwhile, the Scouts move to 2-4 on the year, as they return home to play the Hamilton Joes on Saturday and will seek revenge on the team that beat them in their first two games of the season.