By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
Spring has sprung to some degree around the Midwest as college athletes from the area start to have their first home baseball and softball games.
The Dayton Flyers and Clay City High School graduate Hunter Wolfe played their first home games of the season last week with a win over Purdue Fort Wayne on March 7 before succumbing to Ohio (4-2) the following day and Canisius on Saturday (2-1). The Flyers bounced back with a pair of wins over Canisius on Sunday and captured a 15-5 win over Ohio on Wednesday.
Wolfe ended up with a tough loss in the 4-2 decision against Ohio as the Flyers offense managed just five hits and had scored two runs or less in six of the team’s 10 games to that point.
In the game, Ohio scored a first inning run when a runner reached via an error and moved to second on a throw into the dugout. An errant pick off throw by Wolfe advanced the runner to third and a sacrifice fly scored the first inning run. In the third inning, Ohio loaded the bases on a bunt single, a walk and a base hit. Wolfe was able to strike out the next batter, but hit the next one to force in a run. Wolfe was able to coax a 4-6-3 double play to avoid further damage.
Dayton was able to tie the game in the fourth inning at two-runs apiece before the Bobcats played more successful small ball in the fifth frame.
A bunt single and an error on the play allowed Ohio’s Jack Longo to reach second base. He would then steal third and a fly out brought home the go-ahead run.
Dayton was unable to match Ohio the rest of the way as Wolfe took the hard luck loss with seven innings of work and three earned runs allowed. Wolfe walked three and struck out six in the contest.
This season Wolfe has a 4.85 earned run average over 26 innings and has allowed 23 hits while walking 11 and striking out 22.
At Olney Central Junior College, Brigham Booe and the Blue Knights are 9-3 this season after taking a 7-0 loss on Monday at Kaskaskia. The previous two games were postponed. Previously, Olney had wrapped up a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC with a pair of wins over Kankakee and DuPage.
Most recently, Booe was 0-for-3 at the plate in the loss to Kaskaskia. On March 3 against Kankakee he scored a run, walked twice and stole a base. In pair of March 2 wins, Booe posted three hits in five official at-bats and scored twice. He drove in three runs and doubled twice.
For the season, Booe is hitting .385 and reaching base at a .529 clip with four RBIs, five runs scored and three doubles.
At Vincennes University, former Northview Knight Luke Lancaster and the Trailblazers are now 7-6 overall this season.
Lancaster has made seven pitching appearances this season for a total of six innings. He has allowed eight hits and struck out 11 batters while compiling a 6.00 earned run average. Lancaster has excelled in relief of late with three straight scoreless appearances in victories.
On March 8 in an 8-1 win over Schoolcraft, Lancaster struck out a batter in a scoreless inning of work. He struck out two in one inning three days later against Eureka and in a 14-13 win over Rose-Hulman on March 13 he struck out two and walked one in a scoreless inning.
At Indiana University, Northview grad Braydon Tucker and the Hoosiers went 1-2 at the Seattle Baseball Showcase last week. The Hoosiers won 1-0 over Washington before falling 8-3 to the top-ranked Oregon State Beavers. IU dropped a 5-3 decision to San Diego to wrap up play and then fell Wednesday at Cincinnati, 7-5.
Overall, Indiana is now 7-8 this season.
Tucker has not pitched since Feb. 27 against Butler and has a 4.91 earned run average in 3 2/3 innings of work with a strike out and three walks having allowed five hits.
At Franklin College, Northview High School graduate Alex Reinoehl is listed on the roster, but has not pitched in the four games the Grizzlies have played thus far.
The Ball State softball team is on a six-game winning streak heading into the weekend’s trip to the Mercer Bears Classic.
Former Knight Stacy Payton is hitting .289 of the 18-9 Cardinals having started all 27 games. She has 22 hits in 76 at-bats and has four doubles, a triple and two home runs to her credit. She is slugging at a .447 clip and has driven in a team-high 18 runs while scoring 13 times.
Former Clay City Eel Alexis Price and the Rose-Hulman softball team are on a break until Sunday’s trip to Eureka having not played since March 1.
This season Price has gotten four starts in the pitching circle for Rose-Hulman and has compiled a 3.68 earned run average over 13 1/3 innings of work.