Riders Go On Scoring Spree In Win Over Kenton

St. Marys’ Wyatt Bailey eyes a pitch during the first inning of a Western Buckeye League baseball game against Kenton on Thursday. Bailey batting 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Sports Editor

Runs were a premium for St. Marys in first nine games of the season but they have been a dime a dozen in the last four.

After crossing home plate just 17 times in those first nine games, the Roughriders’ bats have come alive in the last four with 47 runs, including Thursday’s 19-5 Western Buckeye League victory against Kenton.

Every batter in the Roughriders’ (6-8, 4-2 WBL) lineup recorded at least one hit and drove in at least one run, while starter Blake Kanorr muscled through a tough outing in Thursday’s run-rule win as the Roughriders are winners of three of their last four games.

“We have been better with our approaches,” Roughriders coach Adam Graves said. “We have been jumping on pitches earlier in the count and what got us in trouble for awhile was that we were taking too many good pitches and putting ourselves in a hole.

“When you are aggressive in baseball, you can put the pressure on the other team; rather you are on the base paths or if you are hitting.”

St. Marys definitely put the pressure on Kenton (3-8, 1-5) starter Ace Baum — who was anything but an ace for the Wildcats by surrendering 14 runs — nine earned — on 11 hits — by attacking Baum at the plate early in the count. 

No Roughrider saw more than four pitches in the first inning and 11 batters saw an average of 3.3 pitches in the second inning to yield 19 runs and 15 hits off Kenton pitching in those first two frames. 

Clay Quellhorst led the hitting brigade with a 3-for-3 evening, scoring twice and driving in a game-high four runs, while batting seventh in the lineup and rebounding from his 0-for-4 day at the plate on Tuesday against Shawnee.

Graves also moved the No. 8 hitter Ethan Rose to the 2 spot where the senior has been hitting the ball solid. He batted 1-for-2, two runs scored and an RBI on Thursday and is 2-for-6 with three runs scored and three RBIs in his last two games as the No. 2 hitter. Trey Fisher also continued his tear on Thursday, batting 2-for-3 with three runs scored, an RBI and after his early struggles at the plate, Wyatt Bailey batted 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBIs.

“Your day 1 lineup usually isn’t the same as your end of the year lineup,” Graves said.  “We have been tinkering with it a little bit and I think we are getting some guys in some spots that they are feeling comfortable."

St. Marys batted around in order three times in the first two innings, jumping on Baum with a six-run first inning off RBI hits from Bailey, Quellhorst and Kanorr. 

The Roughriders hammered out eight straight base hits in the second inning, chasing Baum with no outs in the frame. 

Fisher, Sweigart, Quellhorst and Carson Fischbach each drove in a run and Henry Spencer greeted relief pitcher Bobby Halsey with a two-run double to close the door on Baum’s final stat line of 14 runs allowed on 11 hits.

All that offense was more than enough for Kanorr, who struggled to find the strike zone, but was still able to keep any damage Kenton mustered to a minimum. The junior scattered 10 hits, allowing five runs in five innings.