In an offensive-minded battle, the two divisions of the Southern Buckeye Conference met at New Richmond where Batavia of the National Division overpowered the Lions of the American Division 11-7.
The game pitted two of the county’s all-time best prep baseball stars opposite each other as head coaches.
The host squad grabbed a 2-0 lead scoring a run in each of the first two innings.
Senior leftfielder Kevin Reid began the game with a double and moved to third base on a well-laid bunt by senior catcher Zack Ritter and scored on senior Steven Binder’s run batted in on a fielder’s choice.
The second run crossed the plate on singles by junior Austin Skaggs, freshman Levi Simpson, and sophomore Cole Bird.
The Bulldogs tied the score at two-both runs tallied in the third inning and proceeded to score a couple of runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
The Red and Black came back to cut the 6-2 deficit in half in the bottom of the fifth.
The sixth inning was a game in itself with the visitors outscoring the Red and Black 4-3 in that inning.
Powering the inning for Batavia was sophomore shortstop Austin Lenhardt singling and then stealing second base, senior Eric Brown drove him in before senior catcher David Lenhardt and sophomore Dakotah Norman received walks and then sophomore third baseman Ryan Gormley smashed a bases clearing double to increase their advantage and cinch the win.
Batavia out-hit the New Richmond 10 to eight and the Lions committed three errors and the pitchers walked an incredible number of nine opponents. The ‘Dawgs defense erred twice.
Powering the victors’ offense were Gormley with two hits including a double and totalled hitting in an impressive five runs, junior rightfielder Dalton Wright with two hits, a run scored, and an RBI, and Austin Lenhardt with two hits and a stolen base. Tyler Lugibuhl was the winning pitcher allowing three earned runs and striking out three foes in six innings.
For New Richmond, Reid had two hits, including a double, scored a run, and walked twice, Warden was three for four at the plate with a double, stole a base, and scored twice. The lefthanded senior surrendered four earned runs and whiffed four foes.
Geoff Carter, the first year Batavia head coach and former Clermont Northeastern diamond star, said, “This was one of our better wins of the season. We’ve hit every pitcher we’ve faced and we’ve scored a lot of runs. We have hit well as a team.”
Brian Benzinger is the New Richmond head coach and a former baseball star at NRHS. He is second, only, to Bethel-Tate’s Jeff Dennis for holding the head honcho position in number of seasons among the high school baseball coaches in Clermont County.
He said, “We walked nine batters and committed four errors. You can’t win with that against a very competitive team like Batavia.”
Following this confrontation, Batavia was 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Southern Buckeye Conference National Division and New Richmond was 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the Southern Buckeye Conference American Division.