VANDALIA – The Greenville varsity baseball team lost a disappointing Greater Western Ohio Conference game to the Vandalia Butler Aviators 11-4 Wednesday to split the season series.
“Walks will kill you,” Greenville varsity coach Eric Blumenstock said. “That’s pretty much the way it was tonight. We got ahead early, we hit the ball right with them, just way too many walks, and they all hurt us.”
The Green Wave jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead with a game-opening walk and steal of second from Quinton Wood while moving to third on a passed ball.
Cole Ward followed with a solid line drive RBI single to right-center, scoring Wood and giving the Wave a 1-0 lead.
Ward moved to second on a passed ball and raced home with single to center off the bat of Colton Nealeigh for a 2-0 lead.
A Ryan Eldridge single put runners on the corners for Kyle Bruner to knock a single to left, scoring Nealeigh for a 3-0 Wave lead with the Aviators coming to bat in the bottom of the first.
With the first four hitters in Butler’s lineup reaching first base by way of walks, the Aviators were putting two first inning runs on the board without the aid of a hit.
The Wave went quietly in the top of the second inning while Vandalia Butler used a walk and two singles to add two runs in the bottom of the inning, taking a 4-3 lead.
Nealeigh drilled a double inches inside the left field line to open the top of the third for the Wave’s only runner of the inning.
An opening walk, four singles and a double upped the Aviators’ lead to 9-3 by the end of three innings of play.
“You shoot yourself in the foot with that (six walks in the first three innings),” Blumenstock said.
A Jacob Hounshell bunt accounted for the Wave’s lone fourth inning hit while Butler took advantage of a walk, tacking on a run to lead 10-3.
Ward opened the top of the fifth reaching third by way of a hit batsman, advancing to second on a passed ball and sprinting to third on a pitch in the dirt with no outs.
Nealeigh sent Ward home with a single to left for a 10-4 Aviators lead.
With Dylan Shumaker making his way from the bullpen, the left-hander kept the score in tact after five complete.
“Shumaker did a nice job of coming in and cleaning up and keeping us in there,” Blumenstock said.
Butler took an 11-4 lead, adding a run in the bottom of the sixth inning while keeping the Wave off the board in the top of the inning.
Ward opened the top of the seventh inning with a single to right, getting Greenville’s last hit of the contest with the Aviators taking the home win 11-4.