Sunday, April 9, 2017

Bluebirds Fall to Bombers at Great American Ball Park

Finding Rhythm for Bluebirds Baseball
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. The Highlands Bluebirds baseball team played Cincinnati St. Xavier on Saturday at Great American Ballpark.
The site was something to take in.

But playing at Great American Ballpark did not help the Highlands Bluebirds baseball team (4-5 overall) overcome its struggles offensively and defensively Saturday in a non-region loss. The Cincinnati St. Xavier Bombers scored three runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings to beat the Bluebirds, 8-2.

"I think surrounding-wise, we were okay for the most part," said Jeremy Baioni, Highlands Head Coach. "I do think it got into our head a little bit with shadows and things we're not used to in a large stadium. It's open air so there's sun everywhere. But it's no excuse. We had to figure a way to adapt. (St. Xavier) adapted and figured out a way to win a game and we have to figure it out in the future."

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Highlands has not been able to get into a rhythm lately. The Saturday games marked the first games for Highlands in a week. The scheduled games against Bishop Brossart and Cincinnati Anderson as part of the Doc Morris Invitational scheduled Wednesday and Thursday were rained out.

The Bombers outhit the Bluebirds just 5-4. But St. Xavier took advantage of 12 walks and two Highlands errors in the win.

"We just struggled throwing strikes," Baioni said. "Against good teams, you can't give them free base runners. With all the walks and hit batters, the defense is on their heels and they don't make plays the way that we can. All that piled up. It's a loss."

On the other side, St. Xavier walked five Bluebirds and committed just one error. Kyle Finfrock, Kyle Rust, Ethan Kavanagh and Ryan Adkins had hits for Highlands.

Highlands pitchers Ethan Doty, Drew Rom and Spencer Dee combined for nine strikeouts. Doty pitched into the fifth inning before Rom took over taking the loss.

St. Xavier scored once in the top of the second before Highlands tied it at 1-1 in the bottom of the third. Rust was hit by a pitch and Kavanagh bunted him to second. Finfrock then hit a sharp single to score him.

"Our approaches (Saturday) afternoon were a lot better than (Saturday) morning," Baioni said. "We're hoping to see a lot of progress moving forward and getting to play more regularly. We have a lot of guys who we think are talented baseball players. It's going to take them some time to get them some work."

Highlands led 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Adkins singled with two out and took second on a throwing error. Rust singled him to third before Kavanagh singled him in.

Lexington Catholic (9-4) run-ruled Highlands, 11-1 in five innings earlier in the day in the Doc Morris Invitational. Highlands had just two hits by Doty and Rust.

Walks also hurt Highlands in that game. Pitchers Hunter Dreves, Adkins and Grady Cramer combined for four strikeouts, eight walks and six hits. LexCath committed no errors defensively compared to two for the Bluebirds.

Highlands takes on Covington Catholic (6-3) at Highland Park on Tuesday in 9th Region action. Game time is 5 p.m.

Box Scores:


CINCY ST. XAVIER (8) AT HIGHLANDS HIGH SCHOOL (2)

CINCY ST. XAVIER     AB  R  H BI  HIGHLANDS HIGH SCHOO AB  R  H BI
Player 1              3  2  0  0  Kyle Rust             1  1  1  0  
Player 2              5  1  1  1   Evan Lewin           1  0  0  0  
Player 3              2  2  0  0  Ethan Kavanagh        2  0  1  1  
Player 4              1  2  0  0   Grant Summers        1  0  0  0  
 Player 20            1  0  0  0  Trey Bowden           3  0  0  0  
Player 5              3  0  0  0   Cooper Schwalbach    1  0  0  0  
Player 8              0  0  0  0  Kyle Finfrock         3  0  1  1  
 Player 14            0  0  0  1  Ethan Doty            0  0  0  0  
 Player 18            1  0  1  1   Drew Rom             1  0  0  0  
Player 6              3  0  0  1  Grady Cramer          1  0  0  0  
Player 7              4  1  2  1   Jackson Recht        1  0  0  0  
Player 9              3  0  1  0  Brady Gosney          2  0  0  0  
                                   Hunter Dreves        1  0  0  0  
                                  Joe Steiden           3  0  0  0  
                                  Bradley Greene        2  0  0  0  
                                   Ryan Adkins          1  1  1  0  
TOTALS               26  8  5  5  TOTALS               24  2  4  2

CINCY ST. XAVIER              010 033 1 -- 8  
HIGHLANDS HIGH SCHOOL         001 100 0 -- 2  

LOB--CINCY ST. XAVIER 12, HIGHLANDS HIGH SCHOOL 8.
ERR--Player 20, Kyle Rust. HBP--Player 3, Player 4, Player
1, Kyle Rust. SACB--Ethan Kavanagh. SB--Player 1, Ethan
Kavanagh (2), Kyle Rust.

 CINCY ST. XAVIER                IP    H    R   ER   BB   SO   HR
Player 8                       2.00    0    0    0    3    1    0
Player 20 (W)                  2.00    4    2    2    1    1    0
Player 18                      1.00    0    0    0    1    2    0
Player 17                      2.00    0    0    0    0    4    0
 HIGHLANDS HIGH SCHOOL      
Ethan Doty (L)                 4.00    2    3    3    6    4    0
Drew Rom                       1.33    0    3    1    6    3    0
Spencer Dee                    1.67    3    2    1    0    2    0

PB--Player 7, Kyle Rust. WP--Player 18, Player 8, Spencer
Dee, Drew Rom, Ethan Doty. SO--Player 2, Player 3, Player
20, Player 1, Player 6, Player 5 (2), Player 9, Player 7,
Joe Steiden, Grant Summers, Trey Bowden, Evan Lewin, Cooper
Schwalbach, Jackson Recht, Drew Rom, Brady Gosney.
BB--Player 3 (2), Player 14, Player 4 (2), Player 1, Player
6, Player 5 (2), Player 9, Player 8 (2), Grady Cramer, Kyle
Rust, Kyle Finfrock, Ethan Doty (2).

HIGHLANDS HIGH SCHOOL (1) AT LEX CATH (11)

HIGHLANDS HIGH SCHOO AB  R  H BI  LEX CATH             AB  R  H BI
Kyle Rust             2  1  1  0  Wilcoxson             3  2  2  1  
Ethan Kavanagh        2  0  0  0  Bennington            3  1  1  3  
Trey Bowden           3  0  0  0  Neuer                 3  0  0  1  
Kyle Finfrock         3  0  0  0  Grigalis              3  0  0  0  
Ethan Doty            2  0  1  1  Moberly               1  0  1  0  
Drew Rom              1  0  0  0  Bender                1  2  0  0  
Hunter Dreves         1  0  0  0  Henry                 2  2  1  2  
Carson Fitters        1  0  0  0  Lockhart              0  2  0  0  
Brady Gosney          2  0  0  0  Sottile               2  1  1  1  
                                  *Ouellette            0  1  0  0  
TOTALS               17  1  2  1  TOTALS               18 11  6  8

HIGHLANDS HIGH SCHOOL         001 00 -- 1  
LEX CATH                      003 26 -- 11 

LOB--HIGHLANDS HIGH SCHOOL 6, LEX CATH 5. ERR--Bradley
Greene, Carson Fitters. 2B-- Moberly,  Henry. HBP--Drew Rom,
 Lockhart (2). SACF-- Neuer. SACB-- Bennington. SB-- Bender.

 HIGHLANDS HIGH SCHOOL           IP    H    R   ER   BB   SO   HR
Hunter Dreves (L)              3.33    3    5    4    4    2    0
Grady Cramer                   1.00    1    2    2    3    2    0
Ryan Adkins                    0.33    2    4    2    1    0    0
 LEX CATH                   
Sottile (W)                    3.00    2    1    1    4    6    0
Bennington                     2.00    0    0    0    0    1    0

PB-- Moberly. WP--Grady Cramer, Ryan Adkins, Hunter Dreves.
SO--Ethan Kavanagh, Trey Bowden (2), Kyle Finfrock (2), Drew
Rom, Brady Gosney, Bennington, Grigalis, Neuer (2).
BB--Ethan Kavanagh, Kyle Rust, Carson Fitters, Hunter
Dreves,  Lockhart,  Wilcoxson,  Bender (2),  Moberly (2), 
Sottile,  Henry.

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