MOUNT VERNON — It’s hard to say what was more glum at Mount Vernon’s baseball game on Wednesday, the weather or the fans.
Watkins Memorial burst out to a 9-0 lead on Wednesday before the rain began and the Yellow Jackets were able to recover. But the rain that fell did little to help as the Warriors prevailed, 12-5, to sweep the Ohio Capital Conference series.
Watkins (9-8, 5-4 OCC) hit two home runs, batted around in the third and chased two very good Mount Vernon pitchers from the mound. Eric Ashbrook lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs (only four earned) while striking out four. Jayben Martin came in for relief and pitched 3 2/3 innings, striking out two and allowing three earned runs.
Luke Rice, Tony Winters and Reno Reda scored in the first inning for the Warriors. In the third, after Winters was hit by a pitch and Steve Asbury walked, Reda brought one in on an RBI double. Robbie Sexton then drove in a run, and Steve Huber drove in two. Derek Helbing would later score on a single by Rice to make the score 9-0.
Watkins’ hot bats couldn’t be stopped in those first three innings. Three Mount Vernon errors didn’t help.
“I don’t have a real good answer as to why we weren’t ready,” said Mount Vernon head coach Matt Smith. “In the third inning, we started to play baseball better. There were a lot of things in the first three innings we didn’t do well. ... You’re not going to win if you give a team like Watkins Memorial a three-inning head start on you.”
Mount Vernon (9-9, 5-5 OCC) finally began chipping away at the lead when Ashbrook reached on a walk to become the first Yellow Jacket baserunner in the game. Ashbrook scored when Kory Shackle singled.