GALION — The Galion Tigers baseball squad took to their home field on Wednesday afternoon looking to end the 16-game winning streak of the visiting Ontario Warriors. However, the Warriors had other plans.
Throughout the first three innings, the Galion defense behind starting pitcher Cameron Payne came to play ball. In the first two innings, Ontario would threaten but the Tigers would hunker down, forcing the visitors to strand two runners at third base before getting the Warriors to go in order in the top of the third.
It would be the Tigers lighting up the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning. After being hit by the first pitch that he saw, Mitch Dyer would then proceed to steal second and third base to put himself in scoring position with just one out folling a strikeout by Carter Keinath. Troy Manring stepped into the batter’s box and ripped one of his two singles on the day to score Dyer and put the home team up 1-0 after two.
Ontario finally got on the board in the top of the fourth inning in a small, two-out rally. An infield single, followed by a stolen base put a runner in scoring position for the Warriors but he wouldn’t stay there long as an RBI triple to the fence scored the run. With two down and a runner at third, Ontario put another runner in scoring position after a walk and a stolen base via a miscue by the Galion defense on a rundown. Luckily for the Tigers, a flyout to Keinath in right field ended the threat and Ontario left two more runners stranded.
In the fifth inning, offense really began to pick up for both teams. Ontario would put two more runs up on the board in the top half of the fifth to give them the 3-1 lead. Galion would change that in the home half though.
After an Ethan Pigg groundout, Aaron Barnhart would reach first on an error by Ontario shortstop Avery Fisher. Barnhart would proceed to take second base on a passed ball to put himself in scoring position. Payne would reach on an infield single and the Tigers had a rally of their own started. Spencer Keller would strike out for the second out of the inning to bring Dyer to the dish. Dyer would rip a pitch to the opposite field off of the “Blue Monster” in right, scoring both Barnhart and Payne and put himself at second. Keinath would waste no time driving Dyer in on a single, allowing Galion to take the lead. Manring would step up and deliver again, driving in Keinath with an RBI double but would find himself stranded there. After five innings, things were looking promising for the home team as they found themselves up; 5-3.
That is where things fell apart for Galion and the Warriors made sure to pick up the pieces.
In the top of the sixth, the Ontario bats truly came alive and the Warriors would go on to post a six-spot in the top of the inning to distance themselves from the Tigers; 9-5. Galion was not ready to throw in the towel just yet though and would tack on two additional runs in the home half of the sixth to enter the eventual final inning trailing by a score of 9-7.
The visitors would tack on an insurance run in the seventh to put them up by three runs at 10-7, which would be the eventual final score as the bottom part of the lineup for the Tigers went quietly in the bottom of the frame.
Ontario has now won 17 consecutive games to improve to 17-3 overall on the season and have clinched at least a share of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference title with the Clear Fork Colts as they remain undefeated in MOAC play at 11-0. The Warriors have four conference games remaining, one of them being against the Colts at Clear Fork on Monday, May 7. The scenario is that the Colts (8-2 in the MOAC), must win out and Ontario would have to go 2-2 to tie for the title. Galion falls to 11-8 on the year and currently sit at 3-7 within the league.
Keinath took the loss for the home squad on the day. After entering the game with one out in the fifth, Keinath went the remaining 1⅔ innings, allowing two hits, three runs (two earned) while walking one and striking out one. Galion’s starter, Payne, worked the first 5⅓ innings in the loss, allowing seven hits, seven runs (six earned), walked two and fanned two.
Manring and Dyer both posted multi-hit games for the Tigers offense against the visiting Warriors pitchers. Manring finished the contest with a pair of singles, a double and two runs batted in. Dyer belted a single and a double while driving in two runs and scoring twice.
Other offense for the home team was provided by: Team- 9/31, 7R, 6RBI, SB, 6-1B, 3-2B, BB, 9K and 8LOB; Ryan Utz- 2B, R, SB; Pigg- R; Barnhart- 1B, R; Payne- 1B, RBI, R and Keinath- 1B, RBI, R. Defensively, Galion committed two errors and the pitching staff recorded one hit by pitch.
Team stats for the Ontario Warriors in the victory were: 9/31, 10R, 7RBI, 5SB, 4-1B, 5-3B, 3BB, 3K and 5LOB. Defensively, Ontario committed three errors and the pitching staff had three hit batters on the day.
Only two MOAC games remain for the Galion Tigers. On Friday, May 4, they will head to Marion for a makeup contest with the Pleasant Spartans. In their final regular season home game, Galion will play host to the River Valley Vikings on Monday, May 7.
Galion’s Mitch Dyer works on timing Ontario pitching while in the batter’s box. The Tigers were unable to snap the Warriors winning streak, falling by a final score of 10-7.
Troy Manring takes a healthy cut during Wednesday’s showdown with MOAC rivals, the Ontario Warriors. The visiting Warriors extended their winning streak to 17 games by defeating the hosting Tigers; 10-7.
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