The Badin-Hamilton prep baseball rivalry means something in this area, and Brion Treadway got to feel some of that Saturday.
His visiting Badin squad took down Big Blue 4-0 under the lights at Stang Field, but earlier in the day, Treadway spent some time at the West Side Little League complex.
“I was out there all morning, and I heard some variation of, ‘Good luck tonight or we’re going to kill you or go Big Blue or go Rams,’ ” Treadway said. “It’s cool that our community cares so much about baseball, and tonight’s a night I always look forward to. I’ve got friends on both sides. It’s just a great high school atmosphere.”
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The Rams had lost two straight games in the series and were 1-4 in the last five meetings before Seth Klaiber, Shawn Osborne and Logan Schmidtz combined on Saturday’s three-hitter with nine strikeouts.
Klaiber started and went 3.2 innings, Osborne picked up the win with 2.1 innings and Schmidtz pitched the last inning for Badin (21-5).
“We know this is huge not just for our team, but for the community, so we just wanted to come out with a lot of fire,” said Rams senior shortstop Daunte DeCello, who had two singles and an RBI. “I’ll put this team up against anybody. It has a different feel, good energy. Everything’s clicking. We’re a team and it’s fun to watch, fun to play.”
DeCello opened the game by lining Zach Bell’s first pitch into left field for a single. He stole second, moved to third on Drew Holderbach’s single and crossed the plate on Zac Wilson’s sacrifice fly.
“Always trying to make a statement early,” said DeCello, who will play for Indiana Southeast next season. “Anything to win.”
“He set the tone right away and smashed a ball. That’s what leadoff batters are supposed to do,” Treadway said. “Daunte’s a great player. It’s been an honor to be able to coach him and get to know him over the last four years.”
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Warren Clarke stole two bases, scored a run and chased down a fly ball in the sixth inning that helped keep the hosts off the board. Badin had plenty of opportunities to blow the game open, yet stranded 11 runners.
“We had a lot of strikeouts looking,” Treadway said. “That’s something we need to take care of that’s not been in our character this year.”
He liked a good deal of what he saw from his pitchers. He didn’t like the seven walks they issued.
“I liked the stuff we took to the mound tonight,” Treadway said. “I was real happy with how some guys handled some pressure situations.”
Hamilton (14-10) stranded eight runners and couldn’t score after loading the bases with nobody out in the fourth. Big Blue hit into two double plays.
Bell had a pair of singles for HHS, which lost to Grace Christian Academy (Tenn.) 13-5 in an early game Saturday. Payton Pennington singled, walked twice and got hit by a pitch.
“This was our seventh game in six days. I think we’re getting a little fatigued,” Hamilton coach Joey Lewis said. “I always enjoy playing Badin. I loved the atmosphere. We just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”
Big Blue played Saturday’s games without freshman shortstop Kurtis Reid, their leading hitter with a .429 average.
Reid suffered a hamstring injury in Friday’s win over Fairfield, and Lewis is hopeful that he’ll be available Tuesday when 16th-seeded Hamilton begins Division I sectional play at No. 9 Colerain. Lewis said it’s looking like Gunner Kellum will get the mound start for HHS.
“I think we can compete in the tournament,” Lewis said. “I feel like we can throw guys out there that can throw strikes, and we can catch the ball. We’ve got to do some hitting.”
Bell pitched 5.1 innings and Steven McFall finished against Badin. They teamed up for a seven-hitter with seven strikeouts and allowed two earned runs.
It was Senior Night for Big Blue. McFall, Kellum, Bell, Sebastien Stamper, Trace Thomas, Hunter Sunberg, Matt Myers, Cooper Haynes, Eric Roberts and Jack Schlichter were honored before the game.
Badin will travel to Ross on Sunday at 2 p.m. Treadway said Spencer Giesting will be the BHS starting pitcher.
WP — Shawn Osborne (3-0); LP — Zach Bell (1-3). Records: B 21-5, H 14-10