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BASEBALL: Big Reds, Panthers Split Baseball Twinbill

Buckeye Local coach shuffles his lineup

April 15, 2012
By RICH GIBSON , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

CONNORVILLE - Neither coach had much to complain about following Saturday's Buckeye 8 Conference doubleheader.

In the opener, John Patrone's Bellaire Big Reds overcame five errors and rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh for a 2-1 victory against host Buckeye Local.

Panthers rookie skipper C.J. Besece then shuffled the deck, making second-game, wholesale lineup changes. His club responded with a 4-3 victory to gain a split.

''We started three freshmen and two sophomores and our young kids played well,'' Besece said.

''We fell behind but battled back and with the game on the line, we pulled it out.''

Patrone, meanwhile, felt fortunate after his Big Reds dodged an array of bullets to capture Saturday's opener.

''You're pretty lucky to win making that many mistakes,'' he said.

''We did get a good pitching effort, then came up with some clutch hits.''

Buckeye Local (4-13) went in front 1-0 in the opener on an Eric Banal base hit. Junior right-hander Austin Marshall headed to the hill for the top of the seventh with a 1-0 advantage.

Bellaire, though, got off the deck with senior Nick McMahon reaching on a leadoff single. Junior Dalton Conroy then came through with a game-tying single.

Following a Brady Hall base knock, freshman left fielder Bralen Snell accounted for the go-ahead run with a clutch hit.

Buckeye Local threatened in its final at-bat, placing the tying and go-ahead runners on base before sophomore right-hander Nick Patrone recorded the final out.

Patrone was sharp in a complete-game, three-hit outing. He fanned five and spaced four walks. Marshall was also outstanding, permitting but five hits. The Panthers' junior compiled eight Ks and but one walk.

''We let that one slip away, so coming back in the second game was definitely huge,'' Besece said.

Bellaire (9-6) scored two first inning runs in Game 2 and was involved in a 2-2 tie entering the last of the fifth when Buckeye Local responded with two.

Sophomore Jonathon Borkowski singled to left, accounting for the go-ahead run before junior Brian Zeroski followed with a base rap to left for a 4-2 lighting.

Bellaire reduced the deficit to a single run via a sixth-inning sacrifice fly off the bat of Hall which plated sophomore Spencer Badia. But Panthers junior reliever Lucas Ostovich was able to strand two Big Reds baserunners and close out the frame.

In the Bellaire seventh, Ostovich recorded a 1-2-3 inning to secure the verdict.

''Buckeye's a much better team than its record indicates,'' Patrone said. ''All in all, we'll take the split and keep working to get better.''

Zeroski produced a 3-for-3 second game outing. Southpaw starter Chase Hopkins was solid in recording the mound decision.

Hall absorbed the setback with Badia coming on in relief.

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