"Overall, not a bad game, but we are capable of much more."
So said Bellmont's first-year varsity baseball coach Ben Fawbush after the Braves opened their 2011 season at home on Wednesday with a 6-3 win over the Bluffton Tigers.
The key hit was Will Busse's bases-loaded double in the sixth inning that drove in three runs and made the score 6-1.
The visiting Wells Countians are 0-1.
Landon Baker got the win in relief of starter Philip Bauman. Baker worked four innings and struck out five, while walking two and allowing four hits. Bauman went three innings, with one strikeout and six hits.
The game was tied 1-1 entering the fifth, then Nick Fuelling singled, Busse got on base after being hit by a pitch, Fuelling advanced on an error, and Brooks Faurote hit to the shortstop to drive in Fuelling for the go-ahead run.
In the sixth, Brandon Voglewede struck out, but the Tiger catcher dropped the last strike and Voglewede reached first base safely. Brian Hakes singled and Landon Baker walked to load the bases. After a strikeout, Fuelling was also hit by a pitch to score Voglewede and keep the bases full.
Busse came up next and cleaned the bags with his long double to left-center.
The Tigers posted their final scores with a two-run, two-out homer by Ryan McCarthy in the seventh.
The game ended on a flyout to Faurote, the first baseman.
Hakes was the Braves' best batter, going two for three as Bellmont had only five hits.
However, there were four stolen bases by the Braves: Voglewede, Hakes, Landon Baker, and Busse.
Fawbush, in his first year at the Bellmont helm, said, "Ben Baker threw out a runner and had a good game behind the plate. Landon and Philip did a decent job on the mound, but we get behind too many batters and that isn't a good thing.
"Our defense wasn't bad. Busse threw out a baserunner in the third from right field. Will did well at the plate and in the field. He stepped up, big-time."
Fawbush proclaimed himself satisfied with the initial outing, saying, "Everyone did okay. We just need to put a series of good things together. It's early, but we'll be ready for Adams Central on Thursday."
Today's game at Bellmont is the season-opener for the visiting Flying Jets.