SPARTA — It was a night the Highland baseball team wants to forget.
Bexley jumped on the Scots early and Highland didn’t put up much of a fight as the Lions cruised to an 11-1 non-league victory Thursday at Highland.
“We did not show up to play today. When you’ve got an opportunity to play baseball on a day like this ... mentally, we just weren’t ready to play baseball,” said Highland coach Travis Church.
The game turned ugly from the opening pitch as Bexley’s Jim Kahan led off the game with a single. A hit batter, another single and a walk and the Lions (8-10) were on the board before the Scots (10-5) knew what had hit them.
It just kept going for the Lions, who ended up scoring seven in the first inning. Kahan’s three-run triple was the big blow as Highland pitcher Josh Gahm barely made it out of the first inning.
“The first inning, obviously, they jumped on us. We weren’t throwing strikes on the mound and were up in the zone and that’s not good,” Church said.
The Scots had a couple of opportunities to chip away at the lead, but shot themselves in the foot too many times.
The first came in the second inning when Ryan Santille reached on a one-out walk and was promptly picked off by Bexley pitcher Will Gingery. Kaleb Griffith then stepped up and drilled a double into the left-center field gap that might have scored Santille.
The second came on one of the strangest plays that can happen on the diamond. Alec Harris, Jake Ulrey and Artie McAndrew all singled to load up the bases with one out. Garrett Ulrey then fisted a soft liner toward short that Bexley’s Ben Golden caught and then threw the ball to first to try and get McAndrew. The Scot senior got back to the base safely, but then collided with Ulrey who was running out the hit and fell to the ground. Bexley first baseman Tom Zervas then tagged McAndrew out and the threat was gone.