Braves blast Bluffton for 14 hits; top Tigers in five, 13-2
Mason Shinabery with a hit. (Archive photo)
BLUFFTON— The Braves took advantage of six Tiger errors in the third inning to break open the game scoring six runs eventually ending with a victory via mercy rule, 13-2 after just five frames.
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Bellmont (2-0) got three quality innings from junior Parker Zeser on the hill as he struck out six of the 13 batters he faced lining himself up for the win. Sawyer Boyd and Brett Baker each pitched one scoreless inning of relief as the Braves needed only five innings to top the Tigers thanks to the hot bats.
After nabbing nine hits against a quality South Side team on Tuesday night, the Braves posted 14 base knocks against Bluffton pitchers.
Josh Brune took the first pitch of the game to deep right-centerfield for the first of two doubles on the night and he was hit in by Baker two batters later for Bellmont's only run of the opening frame.
The Tigers would respond in the home half with a two-run single from Noah Antrim scoring Grant Prible and Dane Hoffman giving them their only lead of the game at 2-1.
The Braves would leap frog with the lead in the top of the second led off by Ryan Okoniewski's double to dead center. After stealing third, Okoniewski scored on a sacrifice fly to the outfield from Boyd. After Kyle Wittwer drew a walk, Justin Jauregui pinch-ran stealing second base and then third before scoring on Brune's second double.
The Braves took advantage of the Bluffton defense all night long tallying an incredible 12 stolen bases including four from Brune.
The game took a turn for the Braves in the third after Zeser shut down the Tigers one-two-three in the bottom of the second. Bluffton's defense fell apart at the seams committing six errors in the inning leading to a six-run frame off of only two hits for the 9-2 advantage.
The inning lasted nearly 30 minutes for the Braves and head coach Ben Fawbush noted he was worried about coming out flat on defense.
"I was worried about Parker coming back out to pitch after that inning," noted the BHS coach. "He sat down for so long but it worked out alright for him."
The Braves continued the offensive pace adding two each in the fourth and fifth to have points in each frame. In the fourth, three straight singles from Zeser, Jake Hall, and Okoniewski led to one run followed by Boyd knocking in Hall on a fielder's choice.
In the fifth inning, the Braves pulled out three more consecutive singles with Baker, Mason Shinabery, and Zeser connecting for another run. Zeser would score a few batters later on an Okoniewski fielder's choice that probably should have been a single but the ball dropped between three fielders for Bluffton in shallow right field and Adam Weaver was forced out at second base.
Seven different Braves had hits on the night including Zeser and Baker who each led with a 3-4 effort. Boyd, Okoniewski and Brune had two hits apiece as well.
The Tigers managed only four hits against Bellmont pitching as Zeser earned the win allowing two runs on two hits with a walk and six K's. Baker allowed the other two hits in the fifth but neither he nor Boyd allowed a run in relief combining for a pair of strikeouts each.