CLAYTON — After taking a 1-0 lead Friday at home vs. Beavercreek, the Northmont Thunderbolts saw the Beavers bounce back to tie the game 1-1 in the top of the 3rd inning. Beavercreek went on to post a 3-1 victory.
Northmont took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Keaton Kesling drew a lead-off walk, stole second and scored on a single by Brenden Siehl on a 2-1 count.
Beavercreek answered in the top of the third when Nick Brown hit a double and advanced to third on a passed ball. With two outs Jake Elmore singled to bring Brown home with the tying run. After that Northmont never really mounted much of a scoring threat.
The Thunderbolts got a base runner on board in the bottom of the 5th inning via a walk and got a single from Justin Combs in bottom of the sixth, but that was it.
Beavercreek’s pitchers kept the ball low in the strike zone and effectively silenced Northmont’s hitters the majority of the game. Starting pitcher Mitch Sumner worked 5 and 1/3 innings, allowed one hit, struck out eight and issued only two walks. Charlie Schafer came on in relief for the final 1 and 2/3 innings, allowed one hit and struck out three.
Northmont pitcher Jason Kohr pitched all seven innings, scattered five hits, struck out two with no earned runs.
“Northmont players always swing the bat and they always play aggressive baseball. They have done it for years and this team is no different,” said Beavercreek coach Brandon Long. “Even though it is a Friday night, and we tend to seesaw on Friday nights, we figured we had to come in strong. We started slow. They scored and we responded and that was big, so I am proud of my guys.”
The Beavers took the lead in the top of the 6th inning thanks in part to a pair of Northmont fielding errors. Lead-off hitter Nolan Frisk reached base on a error at second. Jake Elmore got on board via an error when the shortstop uncorked a wild throw to first to enable Frisk to score with Elmore advancing to second. With one out Clay Cash singled between third and short to score Elmore to give Beavercreek a 3-1 advantage.
“We are struggling a little bit, especially defensively,” said Northmont coach Ross Kincaid. “Their pitcher was really good tonight. I knew it would be a battle against them. We were able to get an early run and do some good things. The limited opportunities that we had offensively we didn’t waste them, but defensively we are just not making as many routine plays that we need to make to win against good teams in close games.”
With the victory Beavercreek improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play while Northmont fell to 1-5 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
Kincaid admitted his players struggled with Beavercreek’s pitchers keeping the ball low in the strike zone.
“They were making pitchers’ pitches, so you’ve got to give them credit,” Kincaid added. “Their pitchers did a really good job, but at the same token at some point you’ve got to be able to make an adjustment and at least put the ball in play and give them a chance to boot it. If you look at the statistics I guarantee you they put the ball in play more than we did and we made a few more mistakes than they did. In high school baseball it is about who makes the least number of mistakes to determine who comes out on top. We are young and inexperienced and we’ve got to learn to do a better job as far as getting the ball in play and making those adjustments.”