Flyers get good pitching, hitting to club Clay

Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2023

By Jim Walker

PORTSMOUTH — Take good pitching and add good hitting and you get a good win.

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Kai Coleman pitched a 2-hitter and the St. Joseph Flyers belted 12 hits in a 17-1 pounding of the Portsmouth Clay Panthers in a Southern Ohio Conference game on Wednesday.

“Coleman did a great job. He threw strikes and we hit the ball up and down the lineup. Even our backups were hitting the ball,” said Flyers’ coach Greg Bryant.

Coleman struck out 7 and walked 3 in picking up the win.

Evan Balestra and Drew Brown each went 2-2 with a double and 3 RBI to pace the offense. Landon Rowe was 2-3, Wesley Neal 1-2 with a double and 3 RBI, Matt Heighton 1-1 with a double and 2 RBI, Darryn Harvey 1-1, Brady “Quinn” Medinger 1-3 and Coleman 1-2.

Clay took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second.

Dawson James was hit by a pitch and stole second. Zane Ball put down a sacrifice, Ian Whitt walked and Dawson scored on a double steal.

St. Joseph (9-2, 7-1) answered loud and clear with 5 runs in the third.

Rowe opened with a single, Coleman and Balestra walked and Brown was hit by a pitch as a run scored.

Mark Hodges reached on an error as a run scored, Jake Stephens grounded out to score Balestra, Neal put down a sacrifice squeeze bunt to score Brown and a passed ball sent Hodges across the plate.

The Flyers came back with 4 more runs in the fourth to lead 9-1.

With one out, Coleman singled, stole second and third and Balestra was hit by a pitch. Balestra moved up on defensive indifference and both score when Brown doubled,

Brown moved up on a ground out, Stephens was hit by a pitch and stole second and Neal capped the rally with a 2-run double.

St. Joseph put the game out of reached with 8 runs in the fifth inning.

Medinger and Rowe singles and Coleman walked to load the bases. Balestra smacked a line drive double that cleared the bases.

Carson Lyons was hit by a pitch and Heighton doubled home both runners.

Blake Medinger reached on a missed third strike as Heighton scored. Harvey lined a base hit and Ian Whaley grounded out as a run scored.

St. Joseph 005 48 = 17 12 0

Ports. Clay 010 00 = 1 4 1

Kai Coleman and Jake Stephens. Brandon Malone, Drew Zeufle (4), Zane Ball (4), Dawson James (5) and Whitt. W-Coleman (IP-5.0, H-4, R-1, ER-1, K-7, BB-3, HBP-1). L-Malone (IP-3.0, H-4, R-5, ER-3, K-1, BB-3, HBP-1). Zeufle (IP-0.2, H-3, R-4, ER-4, K-0, BB-0, HBP-2). Ball (IP-0.1, H-2, R-3, ER_3, K-0, BB-1). James (IP-1.0, H-3, R-5, ER-3, K-1, BB-0, HBP-1, WP-1). Hitting-Sty. Joseph: Kai Coleman 1-2, Evan Balestra 2-2 2B 3-RBI, Drew Brown 2-2 2B 3-RBI, Mark Hodges RBI, Matt Heighton 1-1 2B 2-RBI, Jake Stephens RBI, Wesley Neal 1-2 2B 3-RBI, Darryn Harvey 1-1, Brady Medinger 1-3, Landon Rowe 2-3, Ian Whaley RBI; Clay: Drew Zeufle 2-2, Aiden Ball 2-3.