Coffey fans 14 in Bellbrook’s 3-2 win over Jacks

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Senior second baseman Max Banke heads home after a Markus Neff (12) triple tied the score at 2-2. The Jacks fell to the Bellbrook Eagles 3-2 on Wednesday, April 23, at Chuck Ely Field.

On Wednesday night, two SWBL rivals faced off at Chuck Ely Field, and both were heading in opposite directions.

The Bellbrook Eagles (13-4) rolled into Oakwood with an undefeated SWBL record and an April 11 win over the Jacks in their back pocket. Oakwood (4-6) had lost three straight, including three consecutive SWBL losses.

Bellbrook senior pitcher Nathan Coffey got off to a hot start, recording seven strikeouts and allowing one base hit in the first three innings. Oakwood pitcher Steven Beall (12) also found a way to get the job done. Although Beall tallied three walks and two hit batters, he also struck out four Eagles and was pitching a no-hitter through four innings.

The pitching duel continued until the fifth inning, when the Bellbrook bats warmed up. After a series of bunts advanced the Eagles into scoring position, Bellbrook scored off of a single to make the score 1-0.

Coffey continued to dominate, as he struck out the side in the bottom of the fifth. In the sixth inning, Bellbrook had success by playing ‘small ball;’ after a sacrifice grounder, a walk, and a steal, senior Lumberjack reliever Jack Minser couldn’t strand the Bellbrook baserunners with two outs, as he allowed a walk which scored the Eagles second run.

Oakwood shortstop Max Banke (12)  got on base in the bottom of the sixth, and a double by second baseman Spencer Howell (11) pushed runners to second and third base. Senior first baseman Markus Neff hammered a pitch to deep center field, which brought both runners home and moved Neff easily to third base.

Coffey finished the inning with two strikeouts, however, and held the score at 2-2 going into the seventh inning. Coffey would finish the game with fourteen strikeouts and four hits allowed in six innings of work.

In the top of the seventh inning, Minser recorded two quick outs before Bellbrook left fielder Austin Hall (12) knocked a home run into the bleachers behind left field, sending the Eagles into the bottom of the seventh up a run.

In the final inning, the Jacks offense struggled to get on base once again. Junior right fielder Nathan Kiel reached first base on a walk, but nothing would come of it as Bellbrook closed out the game from there, winning 3-2.

The loss extended the Jacks’ losing streak to four games, and their SWBL record is now 2-4. Bellbrook advanced to an 8-0 SWBL record with the win, as they are in first place in the Southwestern Division.

The Jacks’ next game is tonight, as they take on the Franklin Wildcats (7-5) at home. The Lumberjacks and Wildcats tied 5-5 in their lone meeting earlier this spring. First pitch is at 5 p.m.

By Grant Pepper

pepper.grant@oakwoodschools.org

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